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Performance of the Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Rover Heat Rejection System Used for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on the Surface of MarsThe challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, required a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to +50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer and supply it to the rover. This design is the first instance of use of a RHRS for thermal control of a rover or lander on the surface of a planet. After an extremely successful landing on Mars (August 5), the rover and the RHRS have performed flawlessly for close to an earth year (half the nominal mission life). This paper will share the performance of the RHRS on the Martian surface as well as compare it to its predictions.
Document ID
20150007434
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Bhandari, Pradeep (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Birur, Gajanana (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bame, David (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Mastropietro, A. J. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Miller, Jennifer (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Karlmann, Paul (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Liu, Yuanming (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Anderson, Kevin (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
May 6, 2015
Publication Date
July 14, 2013
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Lunar and Planetary Science and Exploration
Meeting Information
International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES 2013)(Vail, CO)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
Mars
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Curiosity Rover
heat rejection system
mechanically pumped fluid loop
thermal control