To investigate the feasibility of using heat pipes in airborne systems, heat pipe performance at large axial accelerations in the range of 3–12g was studied experimentally. The heat input chosen corresponded to the optimal heat pipe performance without acceleration. When applied against the direction of the liquid flow (unfavorable orientation) the accelerations were large enough to exceed the capillary limit, as was seen from the strong increase in the evaporator temperature. The influence of accelerations in the direction of the liquid flow (favorable orientation) was found to be more complicated. While at the acceleration of 3g the heat pipe performance improved, at higher accelerations instability developed with resulting large-amplitude oscillations of the evaporator temperature. The instability found in these experiments is thought to be related to the geyser effect observed in thermosyphons.

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