The DEPLOY! Project: Development of a Deployable Pulsating Heat Pipe Experiment on a parabolic flight

Alessandro Billi, Mauro Mameli, Sauro Filippeschi, Nicolas Miche, Fabio Bozzoli, Roberta Perna, Silvia Picchi, Vittorio Rosselini, Erin Saltmarsh, Michele Bocelli, Nicola Picci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DEPLOY! Project aims at analysing the behaviour of Deployable Pulsating Heat Pipe (PHP) shaped as a helicoidal torsional spring in the adiabatic section on board a Parabolic Flight platform. A PHP is a passive thermal control device where the heat is efficiently transported by means of the self-sustained oscillatory fluid motion driven by the phase change phenomena. The microgravity environment allows to eliminate the buoyancy force contribution in the liquid phase momentum. Consequently, it is possible to isolate the contribution of the pressure drop caused by the 3D arrangement and infer on their effect on the PHP performance. As a result, a proper design based on the previous considerations would increase the flexibility of the PHP for use in space applications without significant reductions in efficiency. The goal of DEPLOY! is to demonstrate the functionality of a Deployable Pulsating Heat Pipe in various unfolding configurations by analysing its thermal-hydraulic response throughout a Parabolic Flight. The presented Deployable PHP is composed of an aluminium tube (inner/outer diameters 1.6mm/2.6 mm) and filled with HFE-7000. It is heated at the evaporator using a flat heater and cooled at the condenser with a water-cooled cold plate. T-type thermocouples are used to measure the wall temperature in several locations, while two pressure transducers (one located in the evaporator section and another in the condenser section of the same pipe) measure the local fluid pressure. Additionally, an IR Camera will be used to observe a section of the pipe for further analysis of the flow frequency. The device operation will be tested on ground and 0-g at different heat loads (24W, 34W), in multiple static positions corresponding to different opening angles (0°, 45°, 90°, 135°, 180°) and during its dynamic opening from 0° to 180°, thanks to a remotely controllable motion system.
Keywords: Deployable Pulsating Heat Pipe, Parabolic flight, Microgravity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number012070
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024
Event40th International Heat Transfer Conference - Palazzo Bernabei, Assisi, Italy
Duration: 26 Jun 202328 Jun 2023
Conference number: 40


  • Deployable Pulsating Heat Pipe
  • Pulsating heat pipe
  • Parabolic Flight
  • Microgravity


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