Cryogenic Capillary Pumped Loops: A Novel Cryocooler Integration Technology
This paper describes the initial development of a promising new cryogenic technology. Room temperature capillary pumped loops (CPLs), a derivative of heat pipe technology, have been under development for almost two decades and are emerging as a design solution for many spacecraft thermal control problems. This paper describes the highly successful first attempt to extend this technology to cryogenic temperatures.
While cryogenic capillary pumped loops have application to passive spacecraft radiators and to long term storage of cryogenic propellants and open-cycle coolants, their application to the integration of spacecraft cryocoolers has generated the most excitement. Without moving parts or complex controls, they are able to thermally connect redundant cryocoolers to a single remote load, eliminating thermal switches and providing mechanical isolation at the same time.
KeywordsHeat Pipe Supercritical State Flight Experiment Heat Leak NASA Goddard Space
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