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Innovative Mechanically Pumped loop for ACtive Antennae

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IMPACTA (Innovative Mechanically Pumped loop for ACtive Antennae)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

IMPACTA is a research and innovation action and therefore, the project is oriented to solve existing challenges for thermal control in the future telecommunication missions in which active antennae will play a main role.
Thanks to the unique combination of the involved partners (having a large experience in the proposed technical approaches for other two phase cooling applications and technologies such as artificial intelligence for cooling systems), it ensures main activities advancing from TRL2 to TRL6. An Engineering Qualification Model will be manufactured and tested at NLR facilities in order to achieve TRL6.
Along this period, up to M18, 7 WPs have started (WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4, WP5, WP7 and WP8) and WP2 is already closed. The planned situation was to have started 7 work packages and completed 2 of them in this period.
In general, the project has evolved as expected but some deviations from initial plan schedule were identified. They are mainly related to the evaporator developments at CERN and CEA.

A part from the management of the consortium, during the 1st period (M1 to M18), AVS has been in charge of performing a study of the state of the art of the technologies for the MPL. In addition, an analysis of the relevant available roadmaps has been done.
AVS has been also responsible for performing Task 3.1 the trade-off and selection of the pump for the IMPACTA project. After an exhaustive search the only available space pump in Europe within IMPACTA reach has been AVS’ PDPump, although it is still being developed. AVS will have a pump ready for the EQM MPL assembly.
NLR has been collaborating with AVS on the state of the art document, which gave an overview of the current status of the several solutions to thermal control in space. Diabatix collaborated with a study of the state of the art of modeling, designing and optimization for two-phase cooling. The current AI system should be extended for twophase cooling. Some initial work on preparing the system for the extension has been
CERN shared a Literature review and State-of-the-art for evaporators based on microfabrication techniques to the consortium.

Next to that, the requirements were delivered by Airbus for the final cooling system. As we will be building a demonstrator model in IMPACTA, these requirements were translated to technical requirements for the demonstrator. Following the definition of the technical requirements needed for the design of
microstructured evaporators and connectors CERN began the work on a novel evaporator concept based on silicon micro-manufacturing.
Currently a number of tests are ongoing to define the preliminary design of microstructured evaporators and connectors. In particular various solutions for the sealing technology and the microfluidic techniques are under assessment to be used in the preliminary design.
Furthermore, as part of the preliminary design, the fluid selection was carried out, as the fluid of choice is basically a guideline to the overall design of the system and the prime starting point following the requirements. To be able to do so, the theoretical model was made for which several liquids can be analysed, and the best option can be selected. A trade-off was made between the safety aspects, thermal performance and cost aspects.
This resulted in ammonia as preferred fluid. Following this, the complete system was (pre)designed, and initial start was made with the electrical design. Part of the preliminary design were a few tests, which investigated the heat transfer coefficient for drawn and 3d printed tubes, and tested a printed and drawn multi-port extrusion evaporator as basic solution for the evaporator. Some of the partners have also worked on Task 3.2 the preliminary design of the evaporator. Those partners are: CEA, CERN, Diabatix and NLR.

CEA has been the leader of the WP. CEA has carried out numerical studies in parallel: 3D Finite Element Modeling, using FlowSimulation module of SolidWorks and 1D Analytic modelling, discretisation on the length of the channel, using EES software, Engineering Equation Solver (acausal physical modelling). The variation of heat flux distribution on the surface of channels, in flow direction resulting from the 3D FEM, is an input implementable in the 1D analytic model.
For Diabatix, the purpose of Task 3.2 has been extending Diabatix’s artificial intelligence based design process towards two-phase cooling for the design of the evaporator.

Lastly, due to the multi metals consisting in the IMPACTA loop, a NCG test was developed to inventory the likelihood of NCG generation due to the used metals.

During the last 6 months, a part from dedication to tasks not previously finished, the consortium has been focused on WP4, the detailed design of the MPL. WP4 consisted on Task 4.1 the detailed design of the EQM. Task 4.2 the definition of the interfaces for the active antennas mechanical, thermal and electrical I/Fs, Task 4.3 the detailed design of the accumulator and task 4.4 the detailed design of the evaporator.
This part of the project has coincide with the covid-19 crisis, therefore, even all the partners have done great effort to finish all the tasks in time, some related to testing and simulation have not been possible to be finished due to restricted access to the facilities.
In parallel, dissemination activities have been carried out which will be shown in the dissemination plan and report documents.