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High-Flux, High-Temperature Thermal Vacuum Qualification Testing of a Solar Receiver Aperture ShieldAs part of the International Space Station (ISS) Phase 1 program, NASA Lewis Research Center (LERC) and the Russian Space Agency (RSA) teamed together to design, build and flight test the world's first orbital Solar Dynamic Power System (SDPS) on the Russian space station Mir. The Solar Dynamic Flight Demonstration (SDFD) program was to operate a nominal 2 kWe SDPS on Mir for a period up to 1-year starting in late 1997. Unfortunately, the SDFD mission was demanifested from the ISS phase 1 shuttle program in early 1996. However, substantial flight hardware and prototypical flight hardware was built including a heat receiver and aperture shield. The aperture shield comprises the front face of the cylindrical cavity heat receiver and is located at the focal plane of the solar concentrator. It is constructed of a stainless steel plate with a 1-m outside diameter, a 0.24-m inside diameter and covered with high-temperature, refractory metal Multi-Foil Insulation (MFI). The aperture shield must minimize heat loss from the receiver cavity, provide a stiff, high strength structure to accommodate shuttle launch loads and protect receiver structures from highly concentrated solar fluxes during concentrator off-pointing events. To satisfy Mir operational safety protocols, the aperture shield was required to accommodate direct impingement of the intensely concentrated solar image for a 1-hour period. To verify thermal-structural durability under the anticipated high-flux, high-temperature loading, an aperture shield test article was constructed and underwent a series of two tests in a large thermal vacuum chamber configured with a reflective, point-focus solar concentrator and a solar simulator. The test article was positioned near the focal plane and exposed to concentrated solar flux for a period of 1-hour. In the first test, a near equilibrium temperature of 1862 K was attained in the center of the shield hot spot. In the second test, with increased incident flux, a near equilibrium temperature of 2072 K was achieved. The aperture shield sustained no visible damage as a result of the exposures. This paper describes the aperture shield thermal-vacuum qualification test program including the test article, test facility, procedures, data collection, test success criteria, results and conclusions.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Kerslake, Thomas W.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Mason, Lee S.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Strumpf, Hal J.
(Allied-Signal Aerospace Co. Torrance, CA United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 1997
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:107505
Meeting Information
Meeting: Energy Conversion Engineering
Location: Honolulu, HI
Country: United States
Start Date: July 27, 1997
End Date: August 1, 1997
Sponsors: American Nuclear Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc., American Inst. of Chemical Engineers
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 547-10-41
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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