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(The Atlantic)   Orbiting EU telescope runs out of helium to keep instruments cool. If only there were some sort of large temperature differential in space that could be used to keep things cool   (theatlantic.com) divider line 68
    More: Fail, Herschel Space Observatory, telescopes, Measuring instrument, Europe, liquid helium, human beings, XMM-Newton, French Guiana  
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1915 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Apr 2013 at 7:08 PM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-29 04:45:09 PM
GAH THE HEAT HAS NO WHERE TO GO. SCIENCE FOOL!
 
2013-04-29 05:04:23 PM
Well, if they're using cryonic gas to cool something, slapping a heatsink on it and exposing it to space probably wont be enough cooling.
 
2013-04-29 06:42:07 PM
Heat is molecular kinetic energy, Dumbmitter. Not much to transfer that to in a near vacuum.
 
2013-04-29 07:11:28 PM
The Fail tag is for subby's lack of physics knowledge, right?
 
2013-04-29 07:11:44 PM
Mean kinetic energy - how does it work?!
 
2013-04-29 07:12:44 PM

verbal_jizm: Heat is molecular kinetic energy, Dumbmitter. Not much to transfer that to in a near vacuum.


Why does it get cold at night, but hot during the day?
 
2013-04-29 07:16:17 PM
I'm just here to pile on the Submitter, who clearly has no idea how heat transfer or cooling systems work.
 
2013-04-29 07:17:42 PM
*grabs popcorn and waits for the "HEAT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY" fight*
 
2013-04-29 07:19:26 PM
Now's when Fark needs an "Out the Subby" feature.

So he can be subjected to ridicule and favorited as "Moran"
 
2013-04-29 07:21:01 PM
Only run it at night....
 
2013-04-29 07:21:11 PM
Ayup. Without good ol' substandard, we'd never get to the bottom of how Herschel's design was really the result of a conspiracy between Big Helium and Big Rocket Fuel.
 
2013-04-29 07:21:26 PM
Has to be a troll headline because anyone who would link to an article about a telescope running out of helium cryogenic, knows enough about cooling properties that space would not cool the instruments.
 
2013-04-29 07:22:02 PM
If only subby wasn't so stupid.
 
2013-04-29 07:22:31 PM

Old Man Winter: GAH THE HEAT HAS NO WHERE TO GO. SCIENCE FOOL!


Heat transfer has a radiation term, actually, convection dominates under most conditions in the region of temperature and pressure we live in, but for very high temperatures and low pressures radiation can be a significant or even dominant factor.

But yes, since optical instruments tend to run at room temperature or lower (and radiation scales with T^4) you're going to have to rely mostly on some form of evaporation-based cooling out in space where there's no ambient convection or conduction.  A system capable of cooling based on EM emission alone would need a farkton of surface area, which would backfire if your device ever saw the sun.
 
2013-04-29 07:26:46 PM
Considering that subby posted a link from that bastion of peer-reviewed and fact-checked journalism, The Atlantic, I guess we shou...

/wait, let me get my breath back
//laughing really hard
///whew.
//breathe
/breathe

... I guess we should cut him a little slack.

/who am I kidding
//nah
 
2013-04-29 07:27:19 PM

Jim_Callahan: Old Man Winter: GAH THE HEAT HAS NO WHERE TO GO. SCIENCE FOOL!

Heat transfer has a radiation term, actually, convection dominates under most conditions in the region of temperature and pressure we live in, but for very high temperatures and low pressures radiation can be a significant or even dominant factor.

But yes, since optical instruments tend to run at room temperature or lower (and radiation scales with T^4) you're going to have to rely mostly on some form of evaporation-based cooling out in space where there's no ambient convection or conduction.  A system capable of cooling based on EM emission alone would need a farkton of surface area, which would backfire if your device ever saw the sun.


Well, unless it was a solar-sail conerider it's always going to spend some time with a large area facing the sun. Having it repeatedly change angle during orbit seems tricky but I suppose it is done with other satellites.
/yeah, subby failed hard
 
2013-04-29 07:27:31 PM
Isn't helium one of the most abundant elements out there?
 
2013-04-29 07:29:16 PM
imageshack.us
 
2013-04-29 07:29:33 PM

Seamer: Isn't helium one of the most abundant elements out there?


Hydrogen. Helium is actually pretty rare cause it can escape almost anything. Including the our planet's gravity.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-29 07:30:29 PM
Helium is the third most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and stupidity.
 
2013-04-29 07:30:42 PM
Also was this green lighted to show how dumb stubby is?
 
2013-04-29 07:30:57 PM

Honest Bender: verbal_jizm: Heat is molecular kinetic energy, Dumbmitter. Not much to transfer that to in a near vacuum.

Why does it get cold at night, but hot during the day?


Radiative cooling. Little to do with temperature differentials and something which, though accelerated in a vacuum due to the lack kind of any greenhouse effect, is not efficient enough to make a difference for this telescope.
 
2013-04-29 07:33:46 PM
Sounds like that telescope has some
horrornews.net
 
2013-04-29 07:40:03 PM

Seamer: Isn't helium one of the most abundant elements out there?


Only hydrogen and stupidity are more common in the overall universe.

But that does not change the reality that its tank is empty.  The telescope can't exactly travel to Jupiter, harvest more helium, purify it, and use it to recharge its tank.   And no one currently has any manned spacecraft capable of traveling to the Earth-Moon L2 point and the probe is not designed to be refill in any event.

In other words, they knew when they built the observatory that it would have a  lifespan limited by its supply of coolant.
 
2013-04-29 07:46:14 PM
"I'm sick of this farking Lagrange and I'm sick of his farking points!"

Naw, not really.

"And this, my lord, is how we know two of the Lagrange points to be banana shaped."
 
2013-04-29 07:57:27 PM

Peki: *grabs popcorn and waits for the "HEAT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY" fight*


It's already on.  Not much of a fight though.
 
2013-04-29 08:05:01 PM

ZAZ: Helium is the third most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and stupidity.


It's just really hard to mine it from the core of a star.  Helium, I mean, not stupidity.

I believe that on Earth the main source of it is in Texas.
 
2013-04-29 08:10:59 PM

Raoul Eaton: It's just really hard to mine it from the core of a star.  Helium, I mean, not stupidity.

I believe that on Earth the main source of it is in Texas.


Nicely done.
 
2013-04-29 08:11:47 PM

Honest Bender: Well, if they're using cryonic gas to cool something, slapping a heatsink on it and exposing it to space probably wont be enough cooling.


Exposing it to space would actually provide unwanted heating, not cooling.

The temperature of deep space (cosmic microwave background radiation) is about 2.7K. The boiling helium on this spacecraft cooled the instruments to 1.7K, and additional cooling systems took some detectors down to 0.3K (section 2.1.1.2).
 
2013-04-29 08:17:30 PM

Raoul Eaton: Peki: *grabs popcorn and waits for the "HEAT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY" fight*

It's already on.  Not much of a fight though.


scott4long: [imageshack.us image 480x360]


That was actually what I was waiting for.
 
2013-04-29 08:28:18 PM

Ivo Shandor: Honest Bender: Well, if they're using cryonic gas to cool something, slapping a heatsink on it and exposing it to space probably wont be enough cooling.

Exposing it to space would actually provide unwanted heating, not cooling.

The temperature of deep space (cosmic microwave background radiation) is about 2.7K. The boiling helium on this spacecraft cooled the instruments to 1.7K, and additional cooling systems took some detectors down to 0.3K (section 2.1.1.2).


SCIENCE. IT WORKS, biatchES
 
2013-04-29 08:29:08 PM
Er, when in doubt, ask 'how does a thermos work'?
 
2013-04-29 08:40:50 PM
ZAZ: Helium is the third most abundant element in the universe, after hydrogen and stupidity.

Can you easily find molecular stupidity? Or does it easily combine with something else to form a molecule?

Like take some stupid atoms, throw in some engineering atoms, and get a building that rolls over in china due to skimping on the foundation/piles.
 
2013-04-29 08:43:09 PM

Honest Bender: Well, if they're using cryonic gas to cool something, slapping a heatsink on it and exposing it to space probably wont be enough cooling.


This -

What they are effectively doing is taking the incident energy - the heat that the telescope is exposed to as well as the heat of the components running, and trying to transport it away to a 'safe' location from which they can get rid of the energy by focusing the heat onto a component which will "shine" and release the energy as light.
 
2013-04-29 08:45:25 PM

rubi_con_man: Honest Bender: Well, if they're using cryonic gas to cool something, slapping a heatsink on it and exposing it to space probably wont be enough cooling.

This -

What they are effectively doing is taking the incident energy - the heat that the telescope is exposed to as well as the heat of the components running, and trying to transport it away to a 'safe' location from which they can get rid of the energy by focusing the heat onto a component which will "shine" and release the energy as light.


25.media.tumblr.com

Like this??
 
2013-04-29 08:50:41 PM
Sundiver, please!
 
2013-04-29 08:51:05 PM

FrancoFile: ... I guess we should cut him a little slack.

/who am I kidding
//nah


Hell no. Submitter clearly lacks even a 6th grade education.
 
2013-04-29 08:57:48 PM

cretinbob: FrancoFile: ... I guess we should cut him a little slack.

/who am I kidding
//nah

Hell no. Submitter clearly lacks even a 6th grade education.


For all you know, Submitter could be in 5th grade, and you'd have got yourself all worked up over nothing.
 
2013-04-29 09:13:26 PM
The Webb telescope will be making the same observations, assuming NASA exists long enough to launch it.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-29 09:49:54 PM
Sundiver, please!

Apparently David Brin flunked thermodynamics, at least retroactively.
 
2013-04-29 09:51:49 PM

Seamer: Isn't helium one of the most abundant elements out there?


Sure, if you can get at it. Our reserves on this planet are actually running out as helium just flies off the planet if released in the atmosphere. Current estimates say we could be in trouble of running out around 2030. If we want more we are going to need to goto the moon or another planetary body.
 
2013-04-29 09:52:36 PM
I'm reading all your angry comments out loud in a high-pitched, helium filled voice.
 
2013-04-29 10:01:09 PM

kayanlau: I'm reading all your angry comments out loud in a high-pitched, helium filled voice.


Dammit, now you've got me doing it.
 
2013-04-29 10:17:42 PM
 
2013-04-29 10:19:32 PM
More of a concern is what is going to hold it up now that the helium is gone?
 
2013-04-29 10:20:53 PM
Well let's just send someone up there to scrape off the excess heat and bring it back here.
 
2013-04-29 10:29:14 PM
Cpl.D:
"And this, my lord, is how we know two of the Lagrange points to be banana shaped."

This new learning amazes me!  Tell me again how sheep's bladders can be used to 3D-print space trolls.
 
2013-04-29 10:54:53 PM

kryptin420: Seamer: Isn't helium one of the most abundant elements out there?

Sure, if you can get at it. Our reserves on this planet are actually running out as helium just flies off the planet if released in the atmosphere. Current estimates say we could be in trouble of running out around 2030. If we want more we are going to need to goto the moon or another planetary body.


Or learn to fuse hydrogen in a controlled fashion.
 
2013-04-29 10:55:20 PM
Banana-shaped
Lagrange points.

chuvachienes.com
/just can't help myself
 
2013-04-29 11:04:55 PM

Brontes: Not to piss on everyone pissing on submitter, but:

Abstract:

The basic principles of radiative cooling of electronic components and subassemblies in a satellite are discussed, and estimates are made of the lowest temperatures attainable in a satellite by completely passive means. It appears feasible to maintain some compartments within a satellite at temperatures of 250°K or lower, so an opportunity is presented for refrigerating components whose characteristics are enhanced at lower temperatures.
 And:
http://www.tak2000.com/data/Satellite_TC.pdf (page 50 and onward discuss passive cooling)

Heat pipes....in space!!




I'm thinking heat pipes won't solve the problem, in a closed environment.
 
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