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Principle of a heat pipe
Principle of a heat pipe
Constant conductance heat pipe
The most popular heat pipe products, currently selected by almost all satellite manufacturers, are the constant conductance axially-grooved aluminium-ammonia heat pipes.  
In the past ESA has supported in-orbit flight experiments to demonstrate and qualify such devices. First experiments on sounding rockets (1976) were followed by two missions of a heat pipe experiment (SPAS-platform) on STS-6 and STS-9 in the early 1980s. More recently (in 2004), a flight demonstration of a re-entrant groove design was performed onboard the ISS (inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) facility). In 2005 a successful flight experiment with two micro heat pipes took place on-board FOTON M2.
A flight experiment of a high capacity constant conductance heat pipe is under preparation for a flight on the Russian Foton M3 mission in late 2007.
Last update: 27 March 2007

Related links
ARTES-8 High performance constant conductance heat pipeARTES-8 High temperature constant conductance heat pipeHEAT flight experimentFOTON M2 - Minitherm flight experiment (1)FOTON M2 - Minitherm flight experiment (2)FOTON M3 - TEPLO flight experiment (1)FOTON M3 - TEPLO flight experiment (2)
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