A specific application is for Stirlingcycle/linear-alternator electric-power systems coupled to radioisotope general-purpose heat sources. GPHRAD affords capabilities and options to account for thermophysical properties (thermal conductivity, density) of either metal-alloy or composite radiator materials. GPHRAD also enables specification of a heat-pipe radiator design with a radial location of the embedded heat-pipe condenser section determined numerically so that minimum radiator area is obtained. Alternatively, the user can specify a radial location of the heat-pipe condenser section for easier assembly with other components. In this case, GPHRAD determines the tradeoff cost in increased radiator area for this choice. A third option is to design a radiator without heat pipes, with heat flowing radially outward from the cylindrical cold section of the Stirling power system. A major subroutine, TSCALC, calculates an equilibrium sink temperature for a radiator, taking account of the solar absorptivity and thermal emissivity of the radiator surface, the spacecraft-to-Sun distance expressed in astronomical units (AU), the angle at which solar radiation is incident on the radiator surface, and the view factor to space of the radiator surface and the infrared absorptivity-to-emissivity ratio for planetary thermal radiation, if any. The sink temperature, along with the heat source temperature and properties of the radiator material, serve as inputs to the GPHRAD code, which then calculates dimensions of, and temperature distribution within the radiator for a required heat rejection load at given heat-rejection source temperature, such as the Stirling power system "cold" side temperature. The option to specify the disk tip-to-hub thickness ratio permits investigation of mass savings achieved by trapezoidal of parabolic tapering of the disk radiator design.

This program was written by Albert Juhasz of Glenn Research Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to

NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steve Fedor, Mail Stop 4-8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135.

Refer to LEW-17053-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the June, 2005 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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