With the CubeSat market expanding and with CubeSats entering the high-performance domain (to 6U, 12U and 16U) the thermal problems of CubeSats get more prominent. A result of the shift towards high-performance missions leads to stricter thermal requirements as the power density increases and the usual low cost thermal design strategies appear insufficient.
To further support the higher power density, the need for Mechanically Pumped Loops (MPL) becomes more and more relevant for CubeSats as a possible solution. Current MPL are typically used for larger satellites, and in the range of multiple kW’s, which make them rather expensive, and heavy weight.
In essence a smaller loop is possible, however, the availability of a smaller space approved pump becomes a necessity, and due to redundancy needs, current pumps are aimed at the larger satellite market, making them too heavy, and too expensive for cubesats. The lack of a suitable pump is basically a dealbreaker for the implementation of MPL’s in CubeSats.
To solve this, NLR has been developing a Modular Parallel Micro Pump. This pump consists of several piezo driven smaller pumps, which can be stacked in different configurations to achieve the flow and pumphead desired. In this presentation we want to share the results achieved for several configurations, and discuss our next steps.