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research-article

Experimental Investigation of the Feasibility of Using a Liquid Metal as a Variable Conductance Radiator for Space Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
TaeGyu Kim

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Chosun University, 309 Pilmun-daero, Dong-gu, Gwangju 61452, Republic of Korea
taegyu@chosun.ac.kr

Hyun-Ung Oh

Department of Aerospace Engineering, Chosun University, 309 Pilmun-daero, Dong-gu, Gwangju 61452, Republic of Korea
ohu129@chosun.ac.kr

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041558 History: Received December 27, 2017; Revised September 24, 2018

Abstract

The feasibility of using a liquid metal with a high thermal conductivity as a functional fluid for realizing a variable conductance radiator for space applications was proposed and investigated. The variable thermal conductivity of the radiator can be achieved by moving the liquid metal using a magneto-hydraulic pump between the two reservoirs in accordance with the temperature conditions of the on-board equipment. The liquid metal radiator proposed in this study is much more effective for saving heater power under cold condition while effectively dissipating heat to deep space under hot condition. The thermal behavior of the liquid metal radiator was demonstrated using the ambient thermal tests under cooling and insulation modes of the radiator. The performance of the proposed variable conductance radiator was evaluated by comparing it with that of the conventional radiator whose conductivity value is fixed.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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