Design considerations for the rotating electrostatic liquid-film radiator

S. G. Bankoff*, M. J. Miksis, H. Kim, R. Gwinner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A lightweight, fully modular radiator design for heat rejection in space is proposed, which is estimated to weigh less than 2 kg per square meter of the effective radiator area. The feature which makes this thin membrane radiator practical is the internal electrostatic field system, which can stop radiator leaks from punctures, sudden accelerations or accidental tears. Preliminary design calculations are presented for a rotating conical radiator, using liquid lithium at an inlet temperature of 800 K. Remarkably low weights of less than 1 kg kW-1 may be attained, with safety factors of two or more for stopping leaks. This is almost an order of magnitude less than the values for current heat pipe designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-447
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering


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