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Title: Renovation of Thermal Vacuum Chambers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for Testing of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS)

Abstract

The Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) program at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) fuels and performs environmental testing of RPS in support of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) missions. Recently the programs’ thermal vacuum chambers, housed within INL’s Space and Security Power Systems Facility (SSPSF), underwent successful renovations to improve functional capabilities and system control in support of customer missions. Thermal vacuum system renovations focused primarily on three core functions. The first focus area was integration of semi-automated Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) to enhance operational feedback and process control. This included the use of numerically controlled vacuum valves and integration of real time feedback from process pressure transducers. Improvements to the system high vacuum pumping technology was the second priority focus. Legacy diffusion pumps were replaced with turbo-molecular and cryogenic pumps to help mitigate the possibility of back streaming diffusion pump oil onto the surface of the test article or radiative cooling surfaces located within the chambers. The third and final core function involved meeting emergent customer thermal requirements. This led to retro-fitting one of the vacuum chambers with a cryogenically cooled Thermal Conditioning Unit (TCU) and thermal shrouds. The TCU utilizes gaseous nitrogen to heat or cool a cylindrical shroudmore » to maintain a set temperature with a programmable range of -I85 °C to I00 °C. With the successful completion of RPS acceptance testing, the newly renovated thermal vacuum chamber systems are operational and better equipped to support testing of Radioisotope Power Systems for space exploration missions.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
RPS Program
OSTI Identifier:
1481774
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-18-45374-Rev002
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 30th Space Simulation Conference, Annapolis Maryland, 11/05/2018 - 11/08/2018
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 - ENGINEERING; 99 - GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; Thermal Vacuum Chamber; Radioisotope Power System

Citation Formats

Birch, Jaymon, Horkley, Brandon M., Veselka, Harmon D., and Giglio, Joe. Renovation of Thermal Vacuum Chambers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for Testing of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). United States: N. p., 2018. Web.
Birch, Jaymon, Horkley, Brandon M., Veselka, Harmon D., & Giglio, Joe. Renovation of Thermal Vacuum Chambers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for Testing of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). United States.
Birch, Jaymon, Horkley, Brandon M., Veselka, Harmon D., and Giglio, Joe. Tue . "Renovation of Thermal Vacuum Chambers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for Testing of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS)". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1481774.
@article{osti_1481774,
title = {Renovation of Thermal Vacuum Chambers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for Testing of Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS)},
author = {Birch, Jaymon and Horkley, Brandon M. and Veselka, Harmon D. and Giglio, Joe},
abstractNote = {The Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) program at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) fuels and performs environmental testing of RPS in support of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) missions. Recently the programs’ thermal vacuum chambers, housed within INL’s Space and Security Power Systems Facility (SSPSF), underwent successful renovations to improve functional capabilities and system control in support of customer missions. Thermal vacuum system renovations focused primarily on three core functions. The first focus area was integration of semi-automated Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) to enhance operational feedback and process control. This included the use of numerically controlled vacuum valves and integration of real time feedback from process pressure transducers. Improvements to the system high vacuum pumping technology was the second priority focus. Legacy diffusion pumps were replaced with turbo-molecular and cryogenic pumps to help mitigate the possibility of back streaming diffusion pump oil onto the surface of the test article or radiative cooling surfaces located within the chambers. The third and final core function involved meeting emergent customer thermal requirements. This led to retro-fitting one of the vacuum chambers with a cryogenically cooled Thermal Conditioning Unit (TCU) and thermal shrouds. The TCU utilizes gaseous nitrogen to heat or cool a cylindrical shroud to maintain a set temperature with a programmable range of -I85 °C to I00 °C. With the successful completion of RPS acceptance testing, the newly renovated thermal vacuum chamber systems are operational and better equipped to support testing of Radioisotope Power Systems for space exploration missions.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {11}
}

Conference:
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