Increasing needs of additional heat rejection area for high powered telecommunication satellites makes necessary the development of deployable radiator panels. Deployable radiator consists of:
- Loop Heat Pipes or Capillary Pumped Loops, which include evaporator, condenser, liquid and vapor lines with flexible parts.
- Radiator with condenser of LHP embedded in the radiator panel or external condenser of LHP connected to a heat pipe radiator panel.
- Deployment, hold down and release mechanisms.
Two-phase heat transfer systems have been already recognised as a key enabling technology for thermal control in space applications. Because of their characteristics (high power rejection capability, high temperature stability, design flexibility, robustness and reliability), passive two-phase capillary systems are being widely used for the spacecraft thermal control. Therefore, the development of a DPR based on loop heat pipes is essential to solve the problem of big power rejections providing an efficient and lightweight thermal solution.
The final objective of this project is that the obtained results from this development allow increasing the acceptance level of this European technology reducing the dependency from outside Europe for future space applications.
Moreover, two additional research lines are included in the project. The first one is the development of a dedicated radiator model focused on LEO applications which demonstrates the common interest of the developed technology to different space application domains.
Finally, an exhaustive study is planned to be performed to replace the chromium-based coatings currently used in the DPR components by alternative chromium-free surface treatment in line with the Clean Space programmes. This study opens the possibility of applying these green new coatings in both, space and non-space industries.