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ArcJet Tank Leak?



 Did the ArcJet Tank developped a leak ?

After having a good look at the telemetry data, it seems to me that on
orbit #302, on Jun 26 2001, something unusual happended at around 22:32
GMT during ArcJet operation. Up to that moment, everything seems to be
normal, but at that moment, the gas flow   started to behave erratically
by going way up to the limit of the A/D converter and than back down to
normal level. At the same time, the ArcJet Tank Pressure, which was
normally at around 40 Bar went suddendly down to around 20 Bar.
Eventualy, the gas flow stabilized at around 118 mg/s and the ArcJet
Tank Pressure at 20 Bar. This configuration went on for 5 hours after
which it seems, that there was no more gas except for a brief moment on
the next orbit during which the "normal" ArcJet Tank Pressure was
reached for a very short period and then... nothing.

Questions  : could this 20 Bar differential be due to a leak in the
ArcJet Tank? Or any other piece of hardware in the gas circuit ? And did
the gas escape through this "hole" at a pressure of 20 Bar? If so, it
could possibly explain the orbit differential observed. I did not do the
calculation, I am just curious and want to know if this make any sense.

Bye,
Alain Martin


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