In this paper, we describe a hydraulic model able to predict the maximum heat transport capacity of grooved heat pipes for microgravity and gravity assisted applications. We compare numerical results and experimental measurements obtained on a heat pipe in microgravity-like conditions. To reproduce the 0-g environment, a setup based on the rotation of the heat pipe was built up. A good agreement has been found between the code and the experiment. We discuss the influence of the manufacturing uncertainties on the global performance of the heat pipe. By a genetic algorithm technique, we perform a robust design analysis to estimate the maximum and the minimum heat pipe performances in the geometric range imposed by the manufacturing process.

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