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ASETS-II Oscillating Heat Pipe Space Flight Experiment: Ground Truth Results

[+] Author Affiliations
Brent S. Taft, Sally M. Smith

Air Force Research Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, NM

Paper No. HT2017-4706, pp. V001T01A001; 10 pages
  • ASME 2017 Heat Transfer Summer Conference
  • Volume 1: Aerospace Heat Transfer; Computational Heat Transfer; Education; Environmental Heat Transfer; Fire and Combustion Systems; Gas Turbine Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer in Electronic Equipment; Heat Transfer in Energy Systems
  • Bellevue, Washington, USA, July 9–12, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5788-5


The ASETS-II experiment consists of three oscillating heat pipes (OHPs), an electronics box, and mounting structures that control boundary conditions. Each OHP consists of 34 channels in a typical single-layer closed loop design. Butane was selected as the working fluid for OHP #1 and #2 for its performance stability. R-134a was selected for OHP #3 in order to explore the Bond number limit’s influence on OHP operation in microgravity.

The ASETS-II Flight and Flight Spare hardware were subjected to a comprehensive set of ground testing to baseline performance prior to flight testing. For most test conditions, the Flight and Flight Spare test results for OHP #1 and OHP #2 are within the margin of uncertainty in the measurements. OHP #3 on the Flight hardware performs similarly to OHP #3 on the Flight Spare hardware; however, the difference in performance is outside the margin of uncertainty in the measurements. This variation in performance may be attributable to the fact that OHP #3 is being pushed to operate near its Bond number limit.



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