Instrument Thermal Engineering Group

Thermal, United States

Instrument Thermal Engineering Group

Thermal, United States
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Bhandari P.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Bhandari P.,Spacecraft Thermal Engineering Group | Dudik B.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Dudik B.,Instrument Thermal Engineering Group | And 4 more authors.
41st International Conference on Environmental Systems 2011, ICES 2011 | Year: 2011

NASA is planning to send a large (>850 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars in 2011. The rover is powered by a Multi-mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), which generates about 2000 W of heat that is converted to about 110 W of electrical power for use by the rover electronics and science payload. The presence of the high thermal power MMRTG in the descent stage leads to difficult and interesting thermal problems in terms of maintaining the temperatures of the sensitive rover electronics, payload and the descent stage propulsion components within their allowable flight limits. A mechanically pumped single phase heat rejection system (HRS) using CFC-11 as the working fluid is employed to maintain the MMRTG temperature within reasonable levels by picking up its waste heat and rejecting it to the HRS radiators in the cruise stage. These radiators are cooled by the launch vehicle fairing air conditioning (A/C) system. This paper will describe the challenges faced in accommodating the warm MMRTG during the pre-launch phases of integration, launch pad operations as well as during launch. Predictions of temperatures during these phases will be presented when all the cooling systems (HRS and A/C) are operational. In-air tests conducted on the spacecraft in December 2008 to simulate the launch conditions were very successful and showed that all components would be within their allowable limits during these phases. Results of these tests will be shared in this paper. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


Paris A.D.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Paris A.D.,Thermal Hardware and Fluid Systems Engineering Group | Kelly F.P.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Kelly F.P.,Instrument Thermal Engineering Group | And 4 more authors.
42nd International Conference on Environmental Systems 2012, ICES 2012 | Year: 2012

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission will land a robotic rover on the surface of Mars for a two-year exploration mission. During the deep space transit from Earth to Mars, the rover will reside in a compact and static mechanical assembly stack called the Cruise phase configuration. While the majority of the Mars entry, descent, landing and surface-specific hardware subsystems are dormant during the nine-month transit from Earth to Mars, all of the spacecraft's thermal control systems are utilized to maintain hardware within allowable temperature limits. Of these systems, a mechanically-pumped fluid loop runs throughout each of the main spacecraft stages and is used to both reject spacecraft waste heat loads and provide survival heating to components. A second fluid loop located within the rover is used to thermally control the surface avionics and science instrument suite. Additionally, a large number of electrical film heaters are employed throughout the spacecraft to provide survival heating to individual spacecraft components. This paper presents a description of the various MSL cruise phase thermal control systems and reviews their in-flight performance over the first six months of the mission.


Paris A.D.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Paris A.D.,Thermal Hardware and Fluid Systems Engineering Group | Novak K.S.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Novak K.S.,Spacecraft Thermal Engineering Group | And 9 more authors.
40th International Conference on Environmental Systems, ICES 2010 | Year: 2010

This paper contains an overview of the test program undertaken to validate the thermal design and workmanship integrity of the Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft in its cruise configuration. The MSL spacecraft was environmentally tested in a large thermal vacuum chamber capable of simulating the relevant thermal boundary conditions of deep space. Two spacecraft thermal balances were achieved in test: one for a simulated near Earth cruise environment (hot case), the other for a simulated near Mars cruise environment (cold case). The Mars Science Laboratory cruise phase system thermal vacuum test successfully validated and verified the design and implementation of the Cruise Heat Rejection System-a mechanically-pumped fluid loop used to extract waste heat from the entry, descent, and landing and surface exploration subsystems. Additionally, the cold case thermal performance of the entry propulsion systems and hot case thermal performance of the spacecraft solar arrays were directly validated. © 2010 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


Phillips C.J.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Phillips C.J.,Instrument Thermal Engineering Group | Etters M.A.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Smith A.E.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory
41st International Conference on Environmental Systems 2011, ICES 2011 | Year: 2011

The Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission is a part of the NASA Discovery Program and is managed by California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Scheduled to launch aboard a Delta-2 launch vehicle on September 8th, 2011, GRAIL will map the lunar gravitational field in unprecedented detail for 90 days. Gathered measurements will allow scientists to better understand the evolution of our Moon as well as the composition of the lunar core. GRAIL will accomplish these science objectives by accurately measuring the distance between two co-orbiting spacecraft spaced by approximately 100km. The GRAIL mission primary payload accomplishes this by means of a Ka-Band Ranging (KBR) RF Horn. Measurement time between the two orbiters is synchronized using an S-Band link. Doppler ranging of the two orbiters from Earth also places both orbiters within the same reference frame. Changes in the local gravitational field will yield a change in the distance between the two orbiters. By accurately recording this change in distance, a detailed gravitational map can be resolved. Given the sensitivity of these measurements, GRAIL's science quality depends on minimizing thermal, structural, and mass perturbations as well as being able to quantify other "small forces" such as the reradiation of thermal energy and the out-gassing of materials. Reducing these perturbations is particularly challenging for lunar spacecraft due to intense changes in IR-heating into and out of eclipse. This manuscript describes the lunar environmental assumption, KBR thermal design, analysis, and test program used to successfully meet these science requirements using only passive thermal control. A "small forces" analysis was also performed to better understand how the re-radiation of thermal energy from spacecraft external surfaces would affect the quality science measurement. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


Paris A.D.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Paris A.D.,Thermal Hardware and Fluid Systems Engineering Group | Dudik B.A.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory | Dudik B.A.,Instrument Thermal Engineering Group | And 11 more authors.
41st International Conference on Environmental Systems 2011, ICES 2011 | Year: 2011

In 2012, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft will use two separate propulsion systems to safely land a roving, robotic laboratory on the surface of Mars. During deep space transit, a Cruise Stage propulsion system will be used to orient the spacecraft and perform trajectory correction maneuvers. Prior to Mars entry, descent, and landing, a Descent Stage propulsion system will be used to position the spacecraft for ballistic entry, provide thrust for closed-loop guidance maneuvers, and decelerate the entry body for soft landing of the payload. The thermal design of the propellant transfer lines on the spacecraft is complicated by both the exposure of the lines to extreme and highly variable thermal environments and a limitation on available electrical power for survival heating. This paper presents an overview of the thermal design architecture and analytical thermal modeling employed in the design of the Mars Science Laboratory propellant line thermal control. © 2011 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

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