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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) project had a rapid development schedule starting with project conception in spring of 2004, instrument and launch vehicle selection late in 2005 and then launch in early 2009. The lunar thermal environment is one of the harshest in our solar system with the heavy infrared loading of the moon due to low albedo, lack of lunar atmosphere, and low effective regolith conduction. This set of constraints required a thermal design which maximized performance (minimized radiator area and cold control heater power) and minimized thermal hardware build at the orbiter level (blanketing, and heater service). The orbiter design located most of the avionics on an isothermalized heat pipe panel called the IsoThermal Panel (ITP). The ITP was coupled by dual bore heat pipes to an Optical Solar Reflector (OSR) covered heat pipe radiator. By coupling all of the avionics to one system, the hardware was simplified. The seven instruments were mainly heritage instruments which resulted in their desired radiators being located by their heritage design. This minimized instrument redesigns and therefore allowed them to be delivered earlier, though it resulted in a more complex orbiter level blanket and heater service design. Three of the instruments were mounted on a tight pointing M55J optical bench that needed to be covered in heaters to maintain pointing. Two were mounted to spacecraft controlled radiators. One was mounted to the ITP Dual Bores. The last was mounted directly to the bus structure on the moon facing panel. The propulsion system utilized four-20 pound insertion thrusters and eight-5 pound attitude control thrusters (ACS) in addition to 1000 kg of fuel in two large tanks. The propulsion system had a heater cylinder and a heated mounting deck for the insertion thrusters which coupled most of the propulsion design together simplifying the heater design. The High Gain Antenna System (HGAS) and Solar Array System (SAS) used dual axis actuator gimbal systems. HGAS required additional boom heaters to cool the approximately 10 W of RF losses thru the rotary joints and wave guides from the 40 W Ka system. By design this module needed a fair amount of heater, blanketing, and radiator complexity. The SAS system required a separate cable wrap radiator to help cool the Solar Array harness which dissipated 30 W thru the actuators and cable wraps. This module also was complex.
- Document ID: 20090027710.
Heatpipes for Space Applications International Conference; 15-18 Sep. 2009; Moscow; Russia.
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