Use of two-phase flow heat transfer method in spacecraft thermal systemIn space applications, weight, volume and power are critical parameters. Presently liquid freon is used in the radiator planels of the Space Shuttle to dissipate heat. This requires a large amount of freon, large power for pumps, large volume and weight. Use of two-phase flow method to transfer heat can reduce them significantly. A modified commercial vapor compression refrigerator/freezer was sucessfully flown in STS-4 to study the effect of zero-gravity on the system. The duty cycle was about 5 percent higher in flight as compared to that on earth due to low flow velocity in condenser. The vapor Reynolds number at exit was about 4000 as compared to about 12,000. Efforts are underway to design a refrigerator/freezer using an oil-free compressor for Spacelab Mission 4 scheduled to fly in January 1986. A thermal system can be designed for spacecraft using the two-phase flow to transfer heat economically.
Hye, A. (GE Management and Technical Services Co. Houston, TX, United States)