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Lightweight Carbon-Carbon High-Temperature Space RadiatorA document summarizes the development of a carbon-carbon composite radiator for dissipating waste heat from a spacecraft nuclear reactor. The radiator is to be bonded to metal heat pipes and to operate in conjunction with them at a temperature approximately between 500 and 1,000 K. A goal of this development is to reduce the average areal mass density of a radiator to about 2 kg/m(exp 2) from the current value of approximately 10 kg/m(exp 2) characteristic of spacecraft radiators made largely of metals. Accomplishments thus far include: (1) bonding of metal tubes to carbon-carbon material by a carbonization process that includes heating to a temperature of 620 C; (2) verification of the thermal and mechanical integrity of the bonds through pressure-cycling, axial-shear, and bending tests; and (3) construction and testing of two prototype heat-pipe/carbon-carbon-radiator units having different radiator areas, numbers of heat pipes, and areal mass densities. On the basis of the results achieved thus far, it is estimated that optimization of design could yield an areal mass density of 2.2 kg/m (exp 2) close to the goal of 2 kg/m(exp 2).
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Miller, W.O.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Shih, Wei
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 2008
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, September 2008
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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