Foto 7

Pietro Nannipieri, Gabriele Meoni, [...], Luca Fanucci, Federico Baronti:"The U-PHOS experience within the ESA student REXUS/BEXUS programme: a real space hands-on opportunity", 2017 IEEE Educon

Written by

U-PHOS (Upgraded PHP Only for Space) is a project developed by a team of students from the University of Pisa with the goal to analyze and characterize the behavior of a Pulsating Heat Pipe (PHP), one of the most attractive two phases passive systems for thermal management in space applications. The PHP consists of a sealed serpentine capillary tube filled with a working fluid. The heat is efficiently transported by means of the combined action of phase change and capillary forces, so no extra equipment is required. The project aims at investigating the thermal response of such a device under a milli-gravity condition, in order to assess its effectiveness in space conditions. U-PHOS is one of the selected experiment of the REXUS/BEXUS programme, which allows European university students to carry out scientific and technical experiments on research rockets and balloons, thanks to a bilateral agency agreement between the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) in collaboration with ESA. 19 students from the University of Pisa, with different backgrounds, compose the U-PHOS team. Students had the chance to completely design, build and test the experiment, which will flight up to space in March 2017. This paper intends to describe the work done by the students, their organization and how this experience empowered their careers, from both an academic and professional point of view.