Test Rig for Simulation of ISS JEMS Module Fluid Loop

ACT designed, fabricated and tested a Fluid Control Unit (FCU) for NASA to simulate a thermal fluid loop using FC-72 for heat rejection onboard the International Space Station (ISS). The FCU is designed to provide FC-72 volume flow, pressure and heat rejection for ground testing of instruments destined for the JEMS module on the ISS. To date, ACT has delivered two FCU’s to NASA in support of the CATS and CREAM instruments.  The user interface enables control of fluid flow, differential pressure and temperature while logging these values. The design includes 40 micron filters, automated valves, vacuum pump and an accumulator. The vacuum pump and accumulator allow the user to evacuate and charge the instrument. The Fluid Control Units are fabricated using high quality materials and meet and exceed the cleanliness requirements of ISO 14952-2:2003.  Capabilities include:

  • Pump fluid (Fluorinert™ FC-72) at varying flow rates up to 3 GPM at 225 psi (11 liter/min at 1.5 MPa).
  • Maintain fluid inlet temperature at a user-specified value within 1°C by rejecting heat to an air-cooled vapor compression system or providing heat using an electric heater.
  • Maintain system pressure at a user-controlled setting.
  • Record and display several system parameters, such as pressures, temperatures, and flow rates.  This could be done using the on-board data logger or by connecting a laptop.
  • Pull a rough vacuum and charge the instrumentation system.
  • Purge the system with Nitrogen and collect purged fluid in the accumulator.
  • Provide a port and functionality necessary for fluid sampling.
  • Be the brightest object in the laboratory (FCU color scheme selected by customer).

ACT communicated regularly with our customer throughout the design and fabrication of the FCU to ensure the unit met their needs.  Prior to shipping, testing of the FCU demonstrated that the unit met all of the customer’s specifications.  Test results were included with the FCU manual that was delivered with the unit.  Two FCU’s has been operating at our customer’s facility for nearly a year now.


Figure 1. Two Views of the Accumulator Test Rig.


If you are interested in learning more, please contact ACT today.

Custom Test Rig Design and Fabrication

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