By Josh Perry, Editor
European researchers with the Graphene Flagship, a coordinated research initiative featuring academic and industrial partners, are testing next-generation, graphene-based thermal management solutions in zero-gravity environments to determine their applicability in aerospace applications.
In May, the Graphene Flagship will run zero-gravity parabolic flights to test graphene’s performance in loop heat pipes. (Graphene Flagship)
According to a report from the Graphene Flagship, researchers coated the wick of loop heat pipes, which are composed of porous metal, to improve thermal performance. The project is a collaboration between the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the University of Cambridge, the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) and Italian aerospace manufacturer Leonardo.
The first tests were run in 2017 to see if graphene’s thermal properties could boost the performance of loop heat pipes, but the zero-gravity tests that are scheduled wi0ll test devices that are a higher technology readiness level. Parabolic flights are scheduled for May, while a microgravity sounding rocket campaign will be held in Sweden in June.
One researcher noted that the initial experiments with graphene were to test its viability as material for electronics, but through collaboration with Graphene Flagship partners it morphed into the loop heat pipe coating.
Read more at https://graphene-flagship.eu/news/Pages/Graphene-to-Enable-Future-Space-Exploration.aspx.