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Thermal Testing of a Heat Switch for European Mars Rover

ESA/ESTEC-Guido Barbagallo
Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA-Alberto Franzoso, Marco Molina
Published 2009-07-12 by SAE International in United States
A Heat Switch has been developed, namely a device able to autonomously regulate its own thermal conductance in function of the equipment dissipation and environmental heat sink conditions. It is based on a Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) technology, with a passive bypass valve which diverts the flow to the Compensation Chamber when needed for regulation purposes.The target application is the potential use on a Mars Rover thermal control system.The paper recalls the Heat Switch design, and reports the results of an extensive test campaign on the ground demonstrator. The performance of the device was found extremely satisfying, and often exceeded the system requirements.
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ATV THERMAL CONTROL: Architecture and Jules Verne First Flight Results

ESA/ESTEC-Frank Bouckaert
ASTRIUM Space Transportation-Patrick Oger, Pascal Vincent, Jean-Christophe Guyot
Published 2009-07-12 by SAE International in United States
After several years of development the first European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) developed by ESA called Jules Verne completed successfully its seven-month ISS logistics mission. Launched the 9 March 2008 on an Ariane 5 launcher, the ATV performed the 3 April 2008 its rendezvous and docking to the International Space Station to which it remained attached for five months.This paper presents in a first part the ATV thermal control architecture based on a innovative active thermal control design built around 40 Variable Conductance Heat Pipes (VCHP) controlling the heat rejection and in a second part the in-flight thermal control behavior of the ATV Jules Verne observed during the seven months mission in both free flight and attached to ISS phases.
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Thermal - Power - Software Development and Validation on ATV Vehicle

ESA/ESTEC-Bachisio Dore, Frank Bouckaert
EADS ASTRIUM Space Transportation-Jean-Christophe Guyot, Patrick Oger, Pascal Vincent
Published 2009-07-12 by SAE International in United States
Jules Verne (JV) is the name of the first Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) developed by ASTRIUM Space Transportation on behalf of European Space Agency (ESA).JV was launched the 9 March 2008 by ARIANE 5 and performed the 3 April 2008 its automatic rendezvous and docking to the International Space Station (ISS) to which it remained attached up to the 5 September 2008. In the meantime, JV has provided the ISS with dry and fluid cargo and performed one refueling, four ISS re-boosts and one Debris Avoidance Maneuver. JV completed its successful mission by offloading waste and was destroyed during its re-entry the 29 September 2008.Generally, development and verification of Power management rely on classical thermal and electrical engineering. Here, due to the mission and safety requirements, the vehicle complexity and the high level of software management, engineering and validation has been supported by a specific ATV all numerical simulator, representative for ATV thermal, electrical and on-board software management, and presented in this document.
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ATV Thermal Operations for Jules Verne First Flight

ESA/ESTEC-Frank Bouckaert
ASTRIUM Space Transportation-Pascal Vincent, Jean-Christophe Guyot, Patrick Oger
Published 2009-07-12 by SAE International in United States
Jules Verne – the first ATV model developed by ASTRIUM on behalf of ESA – has been controlled by CNES Toulouse Control Centre from March to September 2008.The Engineering Support Team (EST) was in charge to provide System expertise and to propose relevant recommendations in case of off nominal situations.This paper deals with the operations carried out by the EST Thermal position during the JV flight, such as: Identification of thermal anomalies triggered by onboard software or by ground monitoring; Analysis of actual situation from available flight data; Correction implemented thanks to a complete set of commands and procedures; Check on the on-board configuration after correction uploading.
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DOMEX-2 Thermal Design, Testing and Commissioning in Support to the SMOS Mission

ESA/ESTEC-Sylvain Vey, Silvio Dolce, Elena Checa
IFAC CNR-Giovanni Macelloni
Published 2009-07-12 by SAE International in United States
In recent years there is growing interest, on the part of the remote sensing community, in using the Antarctic area, for calibrating and validating data of satellite-borne microwave radiometers. With a view to the launching of the ESA's SMOS satellite, which is a satellite designed to observe soil moisture over the Earth landmasses, salinity over the oceans and to provide observations over regions of ice and snow, an experimental activity called DOMEX was started at Dome-C Antarctica.The main scientific objectives of this activity are to provide microwave data for SMOS satellite calibration and in particular: the continuous acquisition of a calibrated time-series of microwave and thermal Infrared (8-14micron) emission over an entire Austral annual cycle, the acquisition of a long time-series of snow measurements and the acquisition of relevant local atmospheric measurements from the local weather station.This paper is focusing on the thermal design, analysis and testing of Domex-2.The major drivers of the design are the extreme environmental conditions of Concordia station, with air temperature at −75 [°C], sky temperature (no clouds) −90 [°C], sun…
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Columbus Launch Preparation - Final System ATCS Tests Summary and Lessons Learned

ESA/ESTEC-J. Witt, J. Persson
Astrium Space Transportation GmbH-Z. Szigetvari
Published 2008-06-29 by SAE International in United States
Final preparation and configuration of the Columbus module at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) required the performance of system level tests with the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS). These tests represented the very last system level activities having been concluded on the Columbus module before handover to NASA for space shuttle integration.Those very last tests, performed with the ATCS comprised the final ATCS Leakage Test, the final calibration and adjustment of the Water Flow Selection Valves (WFSV) and Water On/Off Valves (WOOV) as well as a sophisticated ATCS Residual Air Removal test.The above listed tests have been successfully performed and test data evaluated for verification closeout as well as input delivery for operational Flight Rules and Procedures.Some of the above mentioned tests have been performed the first time hence, a succeeding lessons learned collection followed in order to improve the perspectives of future tests. Additionally, test cases had to be partly modified in order to cope with the inevitable influences on-ground for example due to the 1-g environment.The present paper gives an overview of the…
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Development and Qualification Program for TPS Preparation to the IXV Mission

ESA/ESTEC-Stéphane Langlois
Astrium SAS-Olivier Kern
Published 2008-06-29 by SAE International in United States
The need to validate through an in-flight experience the re-entry systems and technologies and their strategic value in the field of space transportation and exploration future mission, led in Europe in the past years to design and develop several experimental vehicles in the frame of National and ESA programs.In this context, the Future Launchers Preparatory Programme (FLPP) has been conceived by the ESA Member States to collect and harmonize the know-how gained by the European Space Community and to direct the technical effort and the necessary funds relevant to this matter on the development and the manufacturing of an European Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), a re-entry demonstrator, to be launched at the beginning of the next decade (2012).Among the technological challenges to be demonstrated through the IXV mission, the verification of the advanced Thermal Protection System (TPS) and Hot Structures (HS) in realistic flight conditions represents one of the primary objectives of the IXV project.The selection of the various TPS&HS components and technologies to be embarked on the IXV has been driven by different constraints…
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A Heat Switch for European Mars Rover

ESA/ESTEC-Guido Barbagallo
Carlo Gavazzi Space SpA-Marco Molina, Alberto Franzoso, Alessandro Bursi
Published 2008-06-29 by SAE International in United States
The future Mars rover thermal design presents a unique challenge to the thermal engineers: the need arises for a thermal control system able to keep rover elements within their operational and non-operational temperature ranges in the face of extreme environmental conditions, characterized by broad day/night temperature excursions, cold biased conditions and long periods in standby modes induced by dust storms.A thermal device is needed, which allows the removal of excess heat from dissipating units during the Martian day and to keep them above their minimum operational/survival temperature during night. Moreover the scientific goals introduce strict requirements in terms of allowable internal components temperature ranges and thermal stability, which the candidate device has to fulfill against wide-ranging power dissipation modes.Such a device has been called Variable Thermal Conductance Device, or ‘Heat Switch’. The paper presents a heat switch demonstrator concept, which is based on a Loop Heat Pipe with a temperature-regulating valve.Heat Switch specifications are reviewed, and the main design characteristics to meet the requirements are explained. The demonstrator has been designed, built and tested for…
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On Orbit Life Extension of the Minus Eighty Freezer MELFI Inside the Station Utilization

ESA/ESTEC-Lina De Parolis
AIR LIQUIDE-Jérôme Guichard
Published 2007-07-09 by SAE International in United States
Because of the reduction on the remaining Shuttle launches, the initial mission that was assigned for MELFI, the Minus Eighty degrees Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS, has been significantly modified. While the design was made for a MELFI flying 15 times over a period of 10 years with individual missions no longer than 2 years, present scenario requires to have MELFI in orbit up to 7 years.Extending the MELFI on orbit life from two to seven years has required staggered assessments, each of them aiming at preserving as much as possible the existing design.The potential life limited items are evaluated. On orbit maintenance will be extended for a longer period and maintenance activities foreseen initially to be done on ground between flights will be adapted for orbit.Degraded modes are evaluated so that MELFI ensures its mission at the end of the life even with some off-nominal conditions.
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Columbus Active Thermal Control System - Final Integration, Test and Mission Preparation

ESA/ESTEC-J. Witt, J. Persson
Astrium Space Transportation GmbH-Z. Szigetvari, B. Schmitz
Published 2007-07-09 by SAE International in United States
Columbus has been delivered to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in summer 2006 for final integration, test and mission preparation. In the frame of these “last” phase activities also the Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) had to be finalized and prepared for the launch resp. mission.Due to unexpected late failures resp. malfunctions detected on component/unit level of the ATCS, refurbishment, integration / exchange of the relevant components and re-testing of their system level functions had to be done. Moreover, the still outstanding system level fluid leakage test of the ATCS had to be revised and completed.In addition to the required late refurbishment, integration and test activities, in certain cases also operational workarounds had to be evaluated. They should help to cope with similar contingency situations during operation of the ATCS on-orbit.The present paper gives an overview on the failures detected during ground operations of the ATCS and it describes the refurbishment, integration and test activities performed in the frame of the Columbus module preparation for launch and mission. Further on, lessons learnt and operational workaround evaluated…
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