Encyclopedia

of Physical

Science

and Technology,

(Final

draft

dated,

Spacecraft
Gajanana

j

Thermal

by Academic

Press

Control

and Georg

Jet Propulsion

Laboratory

Institute

Edition

30, 2001)

C. Birur

California
/'

Third

March

Siebes

of Technology

-

and

NASA

Spacecraft

I.

II.

Thermal

Theodore

D. Swanson

Goddard

Space

Control:

IV.
V.

Launch

VI.

Advanced

and Flight

Center

Description

Spacecraft
Thermal
Requirements
Design, Analysis,
and Testing
Thermal
Control Hardware

III.

Flight

and Space

Thermal

Environments

Operations

Technologies

for Future

Spacecraft

Glossary
Albedo

The fraction

of incident

Astronomical
Unit (AU)
mean AU is 1.000
Deep space mission
to earth orbiting

Earth

orbit

Missions
missions.

(LEO)

1,000 nautical

miles.

Geosynchronous
matches
the Earth's
Earth at all times
Multilayer

orbit

Planetary

planets,

range

survive

IR radiation

The temperature

without

Thermal

emission

as opposed
on a

one and one half hours

remains

of the equator

over the same

used on spacecraft

range

The temperature
any permanent

or comets

are less than approximately

in the plane

insulation

Earth's

per unit area incident

altitudes

are about

body

from the sun.

asteroids,

energy

maximum

the spacecraft

Thermal

range

temperature
must

thus,

the distance

radiation

An orbit

of a planetary

heat loss from the spacecraft.
It is made
with a low conductive
netting.

Operating
temperature
can operate
safely
equipment
equipment

whose
(GEO)

(MLI)

thermal radiative
Mylar interspersed

Non-operating

solar thermal

Orbits

rotation,

insulation

to inner and outer

The orbit periods

Earth

that is reflected

The unit used to describe

Direct solar flux The direct
spacecraft
surface
Low

solar energy

range

of a planetary

location

to reduce

up of several

over which

damage

whose

over

which

including

the
of

equipment

spacecraft

to the functionality
body

of the

layers

spacecraft

period

of the

its atmosphere

Radiator

Any spacecraft

exterior

surface

used

for radiatively

rejecting

excess

heat from

the spacecraft
to deep space.
These surfaces are generally
coated with high
emissivity
paint or other material in order to obtain maximum
thermal radiation
the surface
Radioisotope

heater

unit (RItU)_RHUs

provide

proven

and reliable

from

continuous

heat to

sensitive spacecraft
Each RHU provides

instruments
and scientific
experiments
for deep space missions.
about one Watt of heat, derived from the radioactive
decay of

plutonium
dioxide.
clad or aeroshell

The RHU

Radioisotope
converts

is contained

in a protective

platinum-rhodium

alloy

Thermoelectric
Generator
(RTG) A compact space power system, which
thermal energy from the decay of radioactive
materials
to electrical current

through the use of solid-state
produce

electrical

power

thermoelectric

either

by a static

converters.

The heat

or a dynamic

may be used to

conversion

process.

This

power supplies a reliable, long-lasting
source of electricity
that is relatively
insensitive
to the chilling cold of space and virtually invulnerable
to high radiation
fields,

such as Earth's

Van Allen

Satellite
Any spacecraft
orbiting
generally
called satellites
Spacecraft

thermal

control:

belts

and Jupiter's

a planetary

body.

The discipline,

which

magnetosphere
Earth orbiting

spacecraft

is responsible

for maintaining

spacecraft
and its components
within their allowable
entire life of the spacecraft
mission
Spacecraft

mission:

The objectives

which it is expected
data to earth.
Thermal

I.

SPACECRAFT

maintain

according

The external

the thermal

The Thermal
helps

set out for the spacecraft

to function

environment:

influences

balance

Control

System

surrounding

the entire
operation,

of the spacecraft

and its resultant

equipment

part of any spacecraft.
and science

life of the spacecraft.
long term survival,

on the spacecraft
generation.

can get very hot if it is exposed

Spacecraft
and accurate

at safe
thermal
science

heat from the
get too cold.

to the sun or have

internal

heat

of deep
thermal

space. The spacecraft
and instruments
must be designed to achieve proper
balance. The combination
of the spacecraft's
external thermal
environment,

internal heat generation
radiative
heat rejection
this is seldom

a static

The parts

It

instruments

Thermal
control of the spacecraft
is typically
achieved
by removing
spacecraft
parts that tend to overheat
and adding heat to the parts that tend
The equipment

that

temperatures.

DESCRIPTION

is an important

of engineering

operating
and survival levels during
control is essential
to ensure reliable
measurements
of any spacecraft.

the

during the

for its entire life during

environment

CONTROL:
(TCS)

limits

to a set plan and return all the scientific

of the spacecraft

THERMAL

the temperatures

temperature

are

also can get very cold if they are exposed

(i.e., waste heat from the operation
will determine
this thermal balance.
situation;

external

environmental

to the cold

of electrical
equipment),
It should also be noted

influences

and internal

heat

its
and
that

generationare

normally

dynamic

variables

which

change

with time.

For example,

spacecraft
in orbit around Earth or another planet will have a variable external
environment
if their orbit passes through the planet's
shadow.
Each temperature
design

A.

is unique

Thermal

to the mission

Control

The actual
Layer

Insulation

for which

System

hardware
(MLI)

it is developed.

Components

that makes

blankets,

up the spacecraft

two-phase

devices

pumped
loops and loop heat pipes), mechanical
Radioisotope
Heater Units (RHUs), thermostats,
to circulate
passive

heat transfer

elements

function.
rotate

liquids,

and generally

Mechanical

the louver

and thermal

depending

(such

as heat pipes,

Most

any mechanical
since

on the temperature

is given

radiators,

Multi

capillary.

louvers, thermal straps, heaters,
temperature
sensors, mechanical

are one exception

mounted
on. Mechanical
pump is another
liquid to transfer heat from one spacecraft

TCS includes

switches.

do not involve

louvers

blades

control

of the TCS
motion

in order

they use bimetallic
of the spacecraft

pumps

components

are

to

actuators
surface

that

louver

is

exception
where a pump is used circulate
a
location to other. A detailed
description
of the

various

TCS components

in Section

IV.

greater

All spacecraft
whose mission does not require them to go beyond a distance
of
than 1.6 AU from the Sun use photovoltaic
solar arrays to generate
electric power.

The solar arrays on spacecraft
are either body mounted
panels or deployable
arrays.
A
picture of a typical earth orbiting spacecraft
is shown in Figure 1 with its thermal control
system.

Two deep

space

spacecraft

are shown

with their thermal

control

systems

in

Figures 2 and 3. The Mars Pathfinder
spacecraft,
shown with its thermal
control system
in Figure 2, used solar arrays as the power source since the maximum
distance
of the
spacecraft

from the Sun during

spacecraft,
designed

designed
for missions

to planets

source

as the

energy

source,

to power

Spacecraft

mission

B.

sun's

the mission

for a mission
rays

are

was less than

to the planet
beyond

Mars

increasingly

Saturn,
typically

weak

1.55 AU.
is shown

do not use solar

Instead

they have

arrays

RTGs,

as a power

a nuclear

category
as either
satellites,

earth orbiting or deep space spacecraft.
are specifically
designed
for two types

applications:
earth resources
and scientific.
The earth applications
communications,
meteorology,
and earth resources.
The scientific
investigation

3. Spacecraft

the spacecraft.

Most spacecraft
can be classified
Earth orbiting spacecraft,
also called

scientific

The Cassini

in Figure

of earth

and its environment,

include
applications

_tar,_ a_:d-other planets

include

in the solar

system, and stars, galaxies,
and the universe
in general.
The deep space spacecraft
designed for missions to planets in the solar system and are primarily for scientific
applications.

These

include

missions

outer planets such as Mars, Jupiter,
such as the Lagrangian
poinls.

to inner planets
Saturn,

Neptune

such as Mercury
and Pluto

and Venus

and special

of

locations

[
are

I

and
[

I

Earth

orbiting

missions

Geosynchronous
altitude

Earth

of less than

scientific

can be generically

orbit (GEO),

1000 nautical

applications.

classified

or Molniya

mile and are used

Generally,

the orbits

as low earth

orbit.

The LEO

orbit

(LEO),

spacecraft

have

for communications,

are approximately

circular

an orbit

military,

and

but some

are

elliptical.
spacecraft

One type of LEO is the sun synchronous
orbit where the orbit plane of the
is maintained
at a nearly fixed angle relative to the sun. This allows the

spacecratt

to cross the equator

Synchronous

orbits

at the same

are typically

used

local earth

time during

for meteorological

each

and earth

orbit.

resource

applications.

In designing
temperatures

LEOs, the key challenge
of thermal control is to maintain
acceptable
for the scientific
equipment
on the spacecraft.
Another key TCS

requirement

is that that the spacecraft

survival

limit during

the spacecraft

sun and the only power
The GEO
earth

They

with the earth.
maximum

is from

are stationed

used

when

and military

the spacecraft

is 72 minutes

above

the solar arrays

the minimum

are not pointed

to the

battery.

24, 000 miles

above

a particular

communications

in a fixed orientation

At this altitude
duration

be maintained

the onboard

about

for civilian

are always

eclipse

safe mode

available

spacecraft

and typically

purposes.

temperature

with respect

on

and meteorological
to earth

is in the sun most

out of a 24-hour

location

and rotate

of the time.

orbit.

These

along

The

spacecraft

tend to

be communication
satellites and as such are very high powered
(1 to 10 kW) and the
thermal control system needs to remove the heat to keep the transmitters,
electronic
equipment,

and scientific

equipment

Molniya
eccentricity

orbits are unusual
(i.e., they are very

Accordingly,

the earth
caused

and earth

by a rapid

passage

atmosphere.
are important.

miles

they go through

albedo

safe operating

IR loads
through

while

their

a wide

range

are greatest,
the earth's

return
Jupiter,

apogee

temperatures.

can be many

of thermal

and there
tenuous,

thousands

environments.

space

missions

missions.

includes

Examples

and the Cassini

planetary

but not negligible,

of planetary

spacecraft,

for example,

orbiters,

orbiters

which

of

At perigee

may be free molecular

heating

upper

At apogee the spacecraft
is far away from earth and only solar
For all these types of missions,
the actual launch environment

transfer orbital maneuvers,
from LEO to GEO
finalizing
the thermal design.
Deep

and survival

and characterized
by having a very high degree of
elliptical)
and have a high inclination
angle.
Their perigee

may be as low as a few hundred
miles.

within

induced
and

must be considered

flybys,

landers,

are the Galileo

will be orbiting

rovers,

spacecraft,

Saturn.

These

loads

before

and sample
which

spacecraft

orbits
also

flew by several planets before reaching
their destinations.
Mars Global Surveyor
is
orbiting and mapping Mars.
Mars Pathfinder
carried a lander and a rover to Mars in
1997.

The Stardust

comet

dust back

spacecraft

to earth

is a sample

in year 2005.

return

mission

The thermal

control

are the varying thermal environments
due to the distance
thermal environment
and the operation
of the instruments
the thermal

environment

destination,

which

requirement.

of the spacecraft

requires

For missions

is continually

the TCS to be robust
to planets

beyond

enough

Mars,

to comet

solar

Wild

challenges

and will bring
in these

spacecraft

from the sun, planetary
surface
on the spacecraft.
In addition,
changing
to meet
power

from

launch

to final

the spacecraft

thermal

is not an option

because

The standard telecorn. are two factors REQUIREMENTS is compared design but it is not by requirements addressing and minimum duration for the . since include over the Requirements their function. In Table typical spacecraft in a Molnia orbit are shown. unusual temporal The operating the equipment on the spacecraft. whereas range of temperature. The space environment earth orbiting or a deep space. at 2 C. equipment operate or safely temperature equipment may operate and survive is the thermal environment in which launch. requirements consist of upper and lower limits within which will safely C. lower SPACE of the thermal requirements. spatial survival of arbitrary extreme conditions. used in the Mars depend on the particular equipment carried propellant used on the Pathfinder spacecraft parameters subsystems. equipment with specific requirements temperature The environments depends on whether operate. and space. The first factor is the type of thermal requirements engineering and science instruments onboard. thermal. For instance. Each requirements which The temperature the non-operating the equipment limits in Table of various equipment As stated earlier. and Pathfinder requirements were to be used 2 the thermal of a performance specified are also accompanied gradients. heat flow. If another thermal design for a given is requirements set of conditions. propulsion. requirements of a performance of the spacecraft to these requirements and validated by either test or analysis. limits is generally subsystems avionics. depending operation. As described earlier. II. temperature Similarly beyond divided into several on the spacecraft and science. the temperature propellant the temperature limits would be different. the particular are classified as operating and non-operating requirements. These refer to upper that temperature requirements temperature stability.A RadioisotopeThermalGenerator (RTG) is the only option thathasbeenusedfor thesemissions. AND for a spacecraft.of the low levelsof solarflux atthosedistances. the had a lower allowable limit of 10 are considered Final on damaged. equipment survive. limits may be permanently spacecraft hydrazine freezes 1. SPACECRAFT ENVIRONMENTS There system various THERMAL that determine the development THERMAL control for the the has specific temperature limits within which it will reliably Some of the sensitive science equipment may have stringent spacecraft some engineering The second factor has to operate during Spacecraft Thermal The spacecraft its mission life. mechanical. Thermal requirements are most typically expressed as temperature requirements. A. in the spacecraft. temperature are shown These mission are power. of these subsystems has for reliable spacecraft hydrazine a wide ground.

Ultimately. called the solar irradianee) is calculated qsol. The key drivers for the external thermal environment albedo. The spacecraft is expected to function in a predictable manner inside these extended once temperatures ranges are performed . This is especially that will be in a cyclic thermal environment range cycles Spacecraft Thermal planetary environment have different mission. environment space. and cold deep on the mission thermal category. Tsc : the following (1) 2 heat only fi'om the Sun and heat generation. The various temperature ranges and the margins design and testing are shown in Figure 4. external varies extremes is or to long normally used in spacecraft Environments infrared thermal depending external level tests and the spacecraft between The thermal environment of the spacecraft is from the external heat the spacecraft. the to function during nominal operation is referred to as the Allowable Flight temperature range. the design is tested over temperature ranges that include a predetermined amount of margin on both sides of this Allowable range. The external orbiting spacecraft than will the spacecraft will of a planetary Direct solar radiation has the highest energy content of the sources making up the environment.Temperature requirements are specified in terms temperature range over which the spacecraft is expected of ranges. B. radiated Ap q a = A a s Tsc 4 And the temperature using to deep the heat balance space (2) Tsc. This second range is referred to as Qualification or Protoflight range.r = 1367. specification Assembly true for Earth orbiting a spacecraft as it goes in and out of the Earth's shadow. The magnitude of the direct solar incident energy on a surface normal to the Sun (also equation._mefimes- and is also expected return at the limits typically to return to the Allowable Flight of the Protoflight exposed to several to performance temperature temperature temperature dwell times at the extremes.5(Watts/m2)/(AU) For a spacecraft in thermal losing heat to space by radiation equation reduces to equilibrium receiving and with no internal Absorbed sunlight = Heat of the spacecraft. earth sources incident on are direct solar. within range. Commonly. becomes (q Ap ct 6 /(a A s)) '_ (3) . radiation.

. driven one of the biggest the thermal requirements during the entire mission to both inner and outer planets during its mission..'" Table -2 Note. but is generally about earth IR varies somewhat 251 W/m 2. and Ap/A is shown in Figure intensity at Earth.Where Ap = Projected A q = Total Solar area to Sun (m 2) exposed area (m 2) irradiance (W/m') ct = Surface e = Thermal o = Stefan-Boltzmann The temperature be computed absorptance emittance constant.'J.'t c_1 .._. The next significant solar energy incident thermal for the Moon) LEO average the Sun is shown environment on the planetary very low (0. The temperature of a black sphere at different distances.. This is thermal emission from the planet including its atmosphere. by a photovoltaic in the thermal lasers.. . that is reflected. _rh_ r_:r_.... suggest relevant given deleting The TCS of spacecraft thermal environment. smaller The thermal environmental fluxes for outer planets compared to the inner planets. depending For a spacecraft in LEO the orbital average on orbital inclination. to relatively albedo in Figure The the fraction values For to 42%. as this electricity such devices) will eventually such as an (less any radiated degenerate to I .. temperature as function of the two ratios.. .....67 x 10 -8 W/m 2 K 4 in sunlight at various corresponding values distances of solar from the Sun can intensities.. 5.0073 the orbital from body varies contributor Albedo high (0. • i•_ JL..... Am_A . in Table thermal this table 4.4 _=c_ _..c.. . corresponding to various planets.. -All these contributors are shown in Figure 7 for an earth orbiting spacecraft. from about 24% 5 for the solar 6. A m. must away by radio generated also be considered transmitters. for missions to planets Thermal environmental For an orbiting flux on the various has to be taken as albedo surfaces spacecratt must be designed data for various with a fixed of the spaeecratt in the spacecratt thermal view of the planet. .. t_/e. range of the from a spacecraft depending in on orbital inclination..o_.-or_ fo" LEO .'.. The TCS to handle the inner planets are or other array or on-board design source. can be significantly design.8 for Venus)..._.. .Jvlar:. into account varies a lot. for these the incident different The significant environment the spacecraft would be exposed to for most of these consists of the direct solar flux and the planetary infrared energy. of a spacecraft from the spacecraft planetary and thermal bodies are orders of magnitude for the outer planets is planets is generally However. The other contributor to the thermal environment is planetary infrared thermal radiation._ _.. of a spacecraft from Equation in the solar wave 3 using band 5. Thermal environment shown in Table by the need to minimize design the heat losses TCS design challenges is to satisfy with the same spacecraft travelling Any power RTG. is albedo.

and testing form and to operate an integral The mention part the spacecraft of the thermal of temperature control while minimizing the use of all cost and labor to implement the during design the its flight. challenge most of the hardware a planet changes heat can vary and the varying In all but the most deals with heat transfer on the success generated on and off. Temperatures manifest themselves as the results of a heat flow. This is especially true for spacecraft orbiting such that they go through its shadow. This clearly identifies spacecraft thermal level discipline. direct consequence for which space. Suchwasteheatgenerationwill occurat different locationsthroughoutthe spacecraftandcanfurther complicatethe taskof achievingpropertemperaturelevels. defined designs to implement. Spacecraft the underlying thermal thermal physics control spacecraft ambiguity electrical design turns internal is an engineering are fundamental. The resources include mass. This is an important realization. and science. Since hardware. derived process since mission. In this case they will undergo significant their ability to radiate is a requirements increases and the complexity 8 upon the thermal with the increasing of the mission. most temperatures the spacecraft needs engineering with other By developing but on a to be as a system spacecraft a design which the thermal subsystem will invariably such as mechanical. environment is dissipated internally. design on the spacecraft. a certain amount of operating it was designed. and subsystem. This and the outcome can have a has a temperature. complexity and . that provide the spacecraft the spacecraft ranges between This dissipation is exposed extremes. This is for a reason.wasteheat. from the obvious. is noticeably absent from this definition. IlL DESIGN. Both analysis process. Additionally. The resulting design is distributed and integrated subsystems. impose requirements upon other subsystems in turn these cases. AND TESTING Spacecraft thermal design can be defined energy flowing throughout the spacecraft as a collaborative process to control system in such a way that thermal requirements are met during the entire life of the mission resources. from external that is readily temperature controlled. meets the imposed temperature requirements. Only by changing the heat flow can temperatures be changed. of a space of the implementation fact that everything Maintaining discipline often undistinguishable unusual This iterative compactness subsystems nature will impose of the design can be derived that constitutes other of the spacecraft the spacecraft On the other hand. electrical power. engineer impact The nature overlooked. thermal ANALYSIS. in acceptable and thermodynamics. For each spacecraft. environment thermal design is among the most difficult results in a challenge to thermal engineers significant often equipment internally of zero to the fierce heat coming from our sun. from with the functionality to the environment near absolute waste heat. The space of heat devices Externally. power. significantly when temperatures environment between this dynamic is a formidable task. spacecraft matter.

that can survive or materials which to and IR and solar radiation Along with these properties. limit the material selection to only those materials that will prevent Electro Static Discharge will encounter throughout (ESD). conductivity characteristics are needed to perform the thermal design. shown in Figure On a high level. These requirements can. of the the design. This activity starts 8. These inputs typically consist of the geometric configuration of the spacecraft and the design details of subsystems. the thermal engineer progresses from simple heat balance calculations increasingly and coarse computer analysis. field of view and physical envelopes. than a designing_ designing for a low earth to go to the outer or inner planets. thermal Process can be described requires design as a process resources. This activity. system and subsystem requirements are necessary inputs to the thermal requirements not only specify temperature. heat flows. While it is not possible to list all controls. above. The space environment on the mission. design. specifically designed to control heat flows. Material since properties such as thermal capacitance. thermal design requires expenditures in mass. designs. for example. These last three especially valuable since they are consumed be allocated judiciously. it is important to emphasize that these controls are as much part of the thermal design process as any other element. definition of the space environment. Thermal Thermal Design design controlled. are a well-trained workforce. These requirements. to preliminary more detailed computer simulations. The various steps of this 9. and finally shown operation in Figure quality. gradient and rate of change also establish allocations additional inputs include are all temperatures meet stringent the spacecraft out-gassing is . Other resources consist of thermal control hardware. volume. aspects Other of the space resources environment. testing. and produces of managing outputs. thermal designs. such as ISO9000. Each organization has Controls These controls can be standards. Activity uses inputs consists activity. launch related activity integration activities are graphically of the hardware. testing developmental the realization to validate of the spacecraft. Lastly. consist Performing the design of elements common activity requires to other activities. such as vacuum. Some such as funding of these resources and schedule. orbit is Related to space environmental inputs are inputs derived from other requirements. data are included highly distinctly dependent from in this input. mass. detailed design in hardware.A. other by all subsystems solar analytical resources of a spacecraft and need The thermal design activity is not performed in isolation and requires Inputs areas. These facilities are typically required heating to simulate and the cold of space. or those its life cycle. often in the proposal or conceptual phase. and facilities to test this hardware on various levels of assembly. different For example. and power on the spacecraft. simulation tools and computational facilities. but for power. As this activity proceeds through various stages. Resources. each organization has its own policies and best practices. governing the performance of the activities listed Good examples are standards for safety and In addition. is the in the early phase of a design.

The external thermal environment. together with documentation of results that are needed as inputs to the design process of other spacecraft subsystems. This equipment may turn on and off and needs to be at different temperatures at different times. and thermal radiation from a planet. well below room paragraph on the thermal design activity of the input information carries a degree into account by the thermal design. These are part of the thermal design output. validations intermediate can proceed Along to produce temperatures inside the way analysis Output. Sometimes lesstangible. to which to require may require and spacecraft is inputs that uncertainties of the project on a spacecraft and sensors to the most that the thermal lists numerous of uncertainty The extent are allowed to perturb the design is a function of the risk stance amount of resources available to create design margin.andinputsarein placefor a particularphaseof the thermal design. operating is part task. If one further considers. resulting is designing the process to be taken inherent in the thermal from this process to achieve incorrect.While not a directthermalrequirement. and many of these changes will impact the thermal thermal design The need important engineer design. technical and/or cost considerations. such as the presence or lack of direct solar radiation. solar radiation reflected offa planet. equipment optics. . that even input as immutable as the solar constant varies in reality between 1318W/m 2 and 1418W/m 2 for a spacecraft 10 near earth. for different Instruments. the information the thermal necessary to complete the design. The preceding and requirements. design changes in many of the spacecraft subsystems will occur due to science. .temperatures.resources.Balancingdesignrobustnesswith the consumptionof resourcesis a challengingtaskin which thethermaldesignengineerneedsto playan activerole.and/orparticulatecontaminationspecifications.Additional usefulinformationcomesfrom the definition of interfaces. product to balance.but critically importantinput. The thermal engineer design will spend process considerable is highly interactive time obtaining and as it unfolds. A critical input to the thermaldesignactivity is the power dissipationof each assemblyin variousoperatingmodesof the spacecraftandthe moredetailedduty cycle informationat lower levelsof assembly. while extends The notion of the the structure temperature. exclusionof certainmaterialswill certainlyhavean effecton the thermaldesign. also vary greatly depending on orbit. Much needs Understanding and its phasing a single design activity.100 °C. temperature. preferably It is not uncommon temperatures temperatures. and spacecraft . is the risk andmarginpolicy that is applicable to the spacecraftthermaldesign.Theseinterfacesareprimarily hardwareor softwareinterfacesbut includeorganizationalinterfacesandthermalanalysistool interfacesaswell. This output of ranges that permit and test validate is ultimately a the spacecraft to this design. Oncecontrols. and the different cryogenic housekeeping equipment may need to be at near room temperature. Inevitably. the activity thermal design that maintains perform its mission.

Thermal design. aerobraking. These types of requirements that is eclipsed by the planet. and duty cycles The worst to encompass planet. characterize this case. The heat sources include the external environment and the internal heat generation. the initial task of a thermal design engineer appears simple enough. These temperature against the requirements applicable to the respective mission phase. Spacecraft Thermal Assuming Design that all inputs for lead to Approach needed to perform a spacecraft thermal design have been obtained. These Another of the degradation of the The other case is the and power dissipations surface impose design by a cruise phase operations and several different has been thermal analyzed operations on the pad. case hot and cold ranges are compared Included in this for which requirements for an orbiting spacecraft Techniques The thermal balance of the spacecraft at any point during the mission is achieved when all the heat sources on the spacecraft are balanced by all the heat lost form the spacecraft to space. mission. Mission phases can include pre-launch and several different operating modes. are usually combine to cause extreme but possible assumptions typically include external environmental and. All of these comparison Under case scenarios are unique to different phases of a space mission but all of them. the result is a range of temperatures. the engineer performing a spacecraft thermal design will attempt to design reasonable combinations of inputs in such a way that credible worst case scenarios temperatures always within allowable ranges. worst conditions. to the frequently asked question it becomes "'How soon apparent hot does it get?" Instead. 1. Design temperature variations are more prevalent and possibly phases unique to a on the spacecraft. B. Or. orbit insertion. operating modes important radiative aspect surface. need that deliver scenarios constructed. This task is to establish reasonable ranges for these input parameters and a rationale of how these parameters can stack Two "worst-case assumptions up to provide scenarios". worst case analysis is done for each phase of the mission. launch. different Minimum for the thermal conditions of high solar intensities These conditions are combined with of this procedure is to include an assessment absorptivity typically increases with time. one set of hot conditions. if applicable. Once this is done. opposite or "cold" case. all inputs extreme but possible at a minimum.orbiting earthor another that there is no single planet answer can go in and out of its shadow. the launch landing. planetary albedo and IR radiation. if the mission is to a between planets. while the heat losses from spacecraft 11 are the controlled heat rejection . other environments under these are gradients and transient might exist. the highest environmental is followed planetary phases Once the thermal power inputs dissipation.

This . or These surfaces are treated on the heat rejection at high efficiencies.67 x 10 s W/m 2 K K to radiator. advantage and 'S' refers of this situation to deep by controlling space. The basic equation governing radiation ORadiator=°Cr *4 heat transfer *O'*(_r the radiators can only be rejected to mechanism available is is presented --_s below ) (5) __Spacecraft_OCsc*Asc_gO'_g(_csc-Ts4s ) (6) where Q = heat radiated to space D = Stefan Boltzmann [] = Thermal emittance A = Area. Subscript 'r' refers Spacecraft from constant. radiation. locations and a measured Then openings for radiators are cut out the MLI in strategic amount of heat is allowed to escape. lightweight radiation barrier. The balance between insulated area and the open area controls the overall thereby the overall spacecraft temperature. the only heat transfer space. m 2 T = Temperature. other The radiator opening in the insulation usually material capable of conducting heat efficiently. which serves as an effective. heat generated internal to the spacecraft In the vacuum of this environment. the amount of heat that can be rejected in this manner. the radiator or the rest of the spacecraft 5. thermal "SC' design refers takes to the spacecraft.from radiatorsandthe heatleaks spacecraft QSolar from the MLI insulation. in following equation. external side with a coating that permits radiative 12 heat balance of the spacecraft the and exposes an aluminum surface. By far the most common technique is to cover the spacecraft as much as possible with MLI. can be expressed + OAlbedo + PEarthlR 4r Pint ernal = The heat balance QRadiator for a typical q" QSpacecrafl (4) where Qsolar = heat absorbed by the spacecraft from incident solar QEa_hlR by the spacecraft by the spacecraft from from planetary albedo IR QAlbedo = heat absorbed = heat absorbed Q_d_to_ = heat rejected from specified radiating surfaces Qspacecraft = heat from the entire spacecraft rejected except from Once launched.

spacecraft of sensors is augmented by temperature health. If this reduction reaches temperatures temperatures a lower the internal heat responses dissipation are monitored the overall location permissible limit. heat distribution. An example of this would lost attitude control be an emergency for some reason safe-hold situation (and thus the solar arrays where the spacecraft are not pointed has at the sun and only battery power is available). and yet all equipment must be maintained within survival temperatures until control can be reestablished. heat dissipation of the thermal is often distributed This mode design 13 of to the external here is heat directly on the radiator. That translates for a reasonable enough However. A separate section of this article is devoted specifically to thermal control hardware and will provide a more detailed description It should of these be noted items. sensors that provide of suitable sensors is an important All these actions and a constant surveillance and selection of strategic part of the thermal design activity. short). and MLI to reject there range credible into a nearly of temperatures. to avoid contact between the radiation layers (i. through is described This Heat the solid materials by the following of . it maybe desirable that not change much when parts of the spacecraft are turned off.e. which The insulation consists of up to 30 highly reflective layers of Mylar or Kapton.. physical and remote from activity. desirable identifies designers conductance In almost all cases the heat is not dissipated as this close proximity between heat source constraints another key element to the spacecraft the spacecraft equation: lead to internal structure. by conduction of heat transfer capacity the radiators. Selection and heaters by make-up heaters. If electrical power is not readily available. the maximum are many and thermal emittance of typical 6. the thermal louvers or variable the radiator. and sometimes when power is needed the most it is the least available. in Table amount constant amount The size of the radiator of heat encountered operating of heat modes where during the the spacecraft does not dissipate its maximum amount of heat while the radiator continues to reject heat much as before. This leads to a reduction of overall spacecraft temperatures. On other occasions. survival heaters to maintain acceptable augment the internal dissipation. separated by thin layers of netting made from low conductivity materials such as Dacron. heat pipes to modulate the effective such as mechanical radiative Most of the thermal design approach described so far is limited of the spacecraft with its environment. size. (MLI). of Many of the devices mentioned here are essential to thermal control. a thermal radiator coatings A radiator being rejected The solar absorptance are given has a fixed to space has to be large mission. interface functional internal may chose to use other techniques. The dominant activity rejection. that the use of heaters requires electrical power from the spacecraft. As and sink may be. In these cases. This may be a significant design issue since spacecraft always have limited power available.is typically wrapped achieved around by applying the spacecraft very specialized is Multi Layer white or black Insulation paints..

This is of paramount importance. Experience has or repaired once it is launched. structural. dissipated heat and to let it flow to the radiators with the least The temperature rise between the heat source and the heat sink is directly to the thermal proportional more prominent goal of the thermal Most spacecraft structures structural strength resistance design are fabricated with low weight of the conduction to keep these temperature from Aluminum and high thermal highly integrated. A second element is the task of lowering heat densities. The more a path for the heat to flow from the source obvious one is the task of to the radiator. Alloys. the density of the internal heat has to be lowered specified to the values at which the radiator can reject it without exceeding temperatures. Margins Design and thermal margin provides design is paths are also structural load bearing to the need for close cooperation between becomes requirements performance beyond that which level in the same way or power. Therefore. since a spacecraft cannot be serviced numerous uncertainties in the design. A lack of cooperation often evident when problems manifest themselves in later phases of the lifecycle.L (7) where Q = heat conducted. Heat providing m: K K distribution serves two purposes. Golden . and thermal engineers. W/m T = temperature. as weight is needed. m k = conductivity of material. It is one of the rises to a minimum. The task of heat distribution is accomplished by providing heat conduction path to spread the internally amount of resistance. 2. that compensates margin is an essential part of the design process. and operational phases of a spacecraft. W A = cross section of conduction path. The ability to reject heat at a certain temperature is directly related to the heat density (amount of heat per unit area). integration. Most thermal conduction members. As electronic packaging is miniaturized. combine A spacecraft design the configuration. volumetric power densities escalate and can reach the equivalent of multiple solar constant at mounting interfaces. It is the buffer that for uncertainties and unexpected events. Margin is a resource that is traded on a system shown. Although design. and there are testing. there there is consensus is a wide variety that margin of opinions is essential for a spacecraft on the fight amount 14 of margin thermal to apply. L = length of conduction path. which conductivity. This symbiosis points immediately path.

The spacecraft flies over the poles and the equator is in the plane of the ecliptic. O" . The energy balance on the spacecraft is given in by • ___Solarq-OAlbedo'_-___. In our example. In their absence.6)* A+ 150=.EarthlR-l-Pmternal'-OC_radiator l_adiator ._R * Area Let us further Space temperature assume is 0 Kelvin that the internal (note: power 0 Kelvin dissipation is an ideal case.0 +41.3)+ c* 60.T(radiatoT'Z_spac) 4 (8) For the nadir facing simulation for a typical to simplify the problem.. on the thermo-optical according to: during Average properties of * Area QA_ao = a * qA_ao * Area Qeta. steady state calculation early design phases incident heat fluxes surface low earth of a 1 meter heat loads using black orbit are shown averaged the above cube. then we obtain: so that their contribution to the overall heat exchange (a* (0. qso_r in order This permits is often when feasibility is more of a concern than exact (W/m 2) for all surfaces are shown in Table 7. a cube represents the spacecraft. an example For this example of a simplified we assume an earth spacecraft orbiting thermal spacecraft. the results in Figure over the orbit are assumed. It is obvious that the east or west facing surfaces receive the least amount of environmental heat since they are parallel to the solar vector. Thermal Design To illustrate what has been design process. is 150 W and that the a D'pical spacecraft in LEO might see sinks on the order of 200 to 230 Kelvin on its Earth facing side). the engineering team uses accumulated past Frequently the team looks back to past successful missions of a similar to use as a reference point. taken results.o. equation. exist.'*A* o-* T 4 (9) 15 is .aR = _ * qPta. The spacecraft and its orbit are shown Figure 10. The actual absorbed the actually selected surface of a computer 11. For simplicity. Example is described next.rules don't experience. If we also assume that all other surfaces are well enough isolated by MLI. negligible. This is prudent practice but if there is no forward nature looking element in the team soon the design turns stagnant and progress towards advanced designs for future missions is impeded. discussed. Thus a constructive debate about margin is healthy and should be a part of the design 3. This approach amount coating of heat depends and is calculated Qsotar = ot .

119 A- T 4 . on the nadir-facing A less intuitive answer surface had been develops.119 AT4 _ 4. a change radiator than the larger In the end. Materials that exhibit surface mirrors like aluminized is typically near 0.459 +-A OF 3.229 (10) Similarly.119 T 4 = 1. temperature of 27 °C (300 K). it can be determined that the nadir- 45 W whereas the smaller radiator would require by the fact that the nadir facing radiator is large because its environmental heat load is about 3.5 times higher and the internally generated heat is not dominating the overall heat rejection need.459 (11) For a desired 0. external load.1. when power requirement for the two design options desired in the "ofF' mode? Using the equations facing radiator. the same. other And the outcome considerations is not always load is almost in internal radiator.85.This equation shows that for a given environment temperature is a function of the a/e ratio and the radiator internal dissipation needs to be made up by heaters and internal dissipation. for the nadir-facing surface. this is goal is synonymous with reducing the radiator desired size. If. Since in an "off" mode the consuming scarce power. This can be achieved by minimizing properties include white paints and second Kapton or silver backed Teflon. one would obtain: 3. the area. the If this number 3. The apparent paradox is explained selected.85 m 2. the . requires 95 W. the required area in this example is that about half of the surface needs to be covered with MLI.119 T 4 = 4. 0. on the smaller Here the internal Consequently.15/0.45 m 2. Frequently. the question the required is asked: area would What be is the heater if a minimum temperature of 0 °C is above. the most typical design goal is to minimize survival heater power consumption while meeting temperature requirements. The situation for the smaller radiator is just the opposite. need to be factored If mass or space 16 6 times heat dissipation higher in to come constrain than the has a much larger effect to a conclusion. is applied to the equation above Their ot/e ratio we obtain: the a/e ratio. the design space.22 9 +- A or 3. although larger. That means the other hand.

The space environment simulation and albedo information for orbiting spacecraft. the results In addition. as well as trajectory interplanetary to be over skills of the thermal into two classes. is the overriding power. The intensive engineers in idealized radiation includes planetary information for and each model control models including the level of detail needed small enough models which retain the level of that capture for adequate and training. analysis or spreadsheet detailed. thermal sink and internal rate of heat generation. the complexity specifically lhan. the essence of the heat transfer without manufacturing.l hen are of concern of a spacecraft. pre and post processing tools and CAD and friendlier user interfaces. which very thermal results of thermal maybe required nature Ray Trace is used to construct The other conduction the time varying of the space of output. and the effects exchange.smaller radiator concern. The network thus established is equivalent governing solvers to an R-C network in the electrical domain. all spacecraft is of are employed. Solvers for the type of equations the numerical solution have been well established for many years and modem direct their focus on additional functionality in the areas through goal seeking algorithms. This is where creativity engineer will help solve the problem C. calculations driven. appears goes up and computer to emulate unique spacecraft thermal behavior. use the finite differencing scheme to solve describing a system of lumped capacitance a set of coupled nodes and conductors between these nodes. These computer tools require surface surfaces is combined calculations of the technique involved geometry type in the and a computer model of This part of the simulation to yield "conductances" and heat fluxes. the life cycle effective programs type incorporates through mass. is likely If power Typically. fall generally exchange solid material surface radiator is used as an important of simple calculations for this purposes to the radiative analysis But as the design of required developed These related the larger stability and the problem and communication can consist program. Ray tracing amount more programs and adds linear in the radiation with a simulation to a pocket and becomes and geometry and sink terms any logic tools participating engineering One type performs is surface calculations source can program analysis missions. run produces control amenable the actual exchange of energy by the photons process. The thermal 17 IR of design support of data. Thermal Throughout tool. is true if temperature Analysis At first. calculator same concern mass and stability constrained. employ This information detail a large into these including solvers a Monte Carlo that environment that is being is eomputationally simulated judiciously. integration with other engineer uses these tools to . to be selected. Included in the conductors are any radiation conductors obtained from the radiation analysis described above. of heat which as well as heat of method to simulate radiation heat transfer model is selected. Knowing how to create fidelity partial is a matter of judgement Most thermal solvers differential equations Therefore. Modem the user radiation property of the radiation progresses information.

12. test and account Equilibrium conditions are typically established as well as survival conditions. the limitations these in the analytical model. sensitivities thermal These behavior analytical and predict models performance and the fast turn-around facilitates more design iterations with the goal being a system-optimized design (as opposed to a locally optimized design). calorimeters constructed with the same surface illuminated as the actual by the quartz spacecraft lamp. flight like heat balance Temperatures correlation of a given is established are allowed with the computer thermal vacuum to be verified. surface. test a known. However. IR simulation can not verify the values of solar absorptivity illuminated spacecraft surfaces. D.completely formulate including an analytical all transient valuable tools events simulation of the spacecraft that may be a design for the engineer to study driver. These . In Figure for subsequent vacuum chamber 13. Due to the difference in spectrum. the Cassini The spacecraft environment heat balance design need in and has led to the Test. for spacecraft in the JPL 25-foot A represenative thermal thermal tests Toae-25-ft is shown vacuum Figure test chamber the flight configuration and simulated space conditions. sink is needed. IR testing can introduce external heating equivalent to that of solar heating and the overall spacecraft heat balance can be simulated used in the test. case hot and cold conditions. The simulation of the spacecraft a thermal name vacuum test for the purpose for this type of test: In the thermal between the spacecraft equilibrate important Thermal balance and are recorded stability incorporated heat sources. are used as flux sensors. special to models. are of a design to arrive at Testing The thermal anticipated thermal design is validated in a test of the flight spacecraft flight environments. specially designed solar simulators can produce high fidelity solar beams using powerful arc lamps and collimating thermal optics. If critical gradient requirements spacecraft was tested for its worst hot and cold is the primary goal in designing the thermal environment. In many facilities. of verifying and its external to understand diameter test sequences It is for for worst or are to simulate such conditions. With the help of computer controlled simulated often arrays of quartz lamps and reflectors. vacuum chamber This is accomplished in a facility by installing in such a way that non-flight thermal that simulates the spacecraft influences in a are minimized. In this case. for solar simulation because of the high facility cost associated with performing a high fidelity solar test. vacuum Liquid helium In recent Liquid Nitrogen-filled chamber filled shrouds form an enclosure shrouds years IR heaters installed that simulates are sometimes employed are increasingly along the perimeter the cold conditions if a colder substituted thermal of the of space. it is possible to simulate the transient behavior of an orbiting spacecraft going periodically in and out of eclipse. coating as the spacecraft Because the calorimeter it will absorb These calorimeters are surfaces that are being has the same heat just as the spacecraft 18 radiative properties will. Another deficiency in IR simulation for is the lack of collimation relative to that of the Sun. A high vacuum is standard in these tests. temporal Balance thermal is shown. It is challenging to correlate this type of simulated environment to the spacecraft's thermal response.

will carefully review The processing the credibility of these and quality of the data data can be a daunting or they may be caused the thermal engineer obtained in the thermal task since it is not uncommon Predictions from an analytical model compared to the test data. interpretation satisfactory desired. correlation °C are typically returned predicts determined It should for the same test. Discrepancies can also result from the real behavior of the hardware that has not been adequately understood. part of the thermal control system have to be disabled. The number of cycles performed. test model to the flight environment and flight exceed allowable flight temperatures. limited those expected in flight. Differences exceeding likely causes for these differences are evaluated. It is not difficult . In fact. At the end of this process. in in all of its various of time for the thermal HARDWARE 19 required and the correlation test model is then used to mission phases. THERMAL period CONTROL are then and a new set of and its in an iterative correlation of the spacecraft fashion within until 1 °C to 5 is then analytically predictions are generated. the correlated simulate condition of the test data on sensitivity.calorimeters are then placed by the spacecraft. other tests are performed the opportunity exists. aspect Since of thermal thermal design tests typically Sometimes is the correlation occur of test data with the late in the project before shipping to the launch site. If the redesign is significant. Cycling test". Some of these tests verify functional performance of the while spacecraft. by assembly a range of test or "system level protoflight margin levels limits. is achieved. the test uncovers discrepancies between that means that life cycle and shortly performed under a tight schedule. At this phase of the design. is generally specified by the qualification procedures of the sponsoring organization. they are usually Inevitably. expectations and actual performance. test conditions 2-3 under a preset threshold are flagged and the Modifications are then made to the test established be noted must also be addressed. These in strategic locations data are recorded to measure and later the amount correlated of heat with the thermal absorbed model. a retest maybe process is repeated. An important thermal model. and the degree of excess above/below the design temperatures. model to reflect predictions the newly is made. by poorly understood test conditions. These discrepancies result from artifacts of the test configuration which is not present the flight configuration of a spacecraft. During the thermal test phase of a project's life cycle. the objective of these tests is to force the Spacecraft temperatures beyond expected flight temperatures. physical that the veracity This process Depending The correlated continues the spacecraft performance to see that this is an intense IV. tests are designed A routine to calibrate test that is performed spacecraft performance over at this time is the margin level protoflight or qualification and design robustness. Out of this data review emerges a picture of how the spacecraft behaved test conditions. Other temperatures. for hundreds of telemetry channels to be recorded once per minute for a test lasting weeks. These tests are designed to demonstrate and/or dwell tests are performed at temperature beyond but. During these tests it is not necessary to simulate the anticipated flight environment. engineer. If any of these the correlated model is used to evaluate design options.

Effective emittance value of 0. of around The effective 600 to 700 gms per emittance provided by of these blankets varies from 0. conductivity materials. MLI spacecraft to minimize the heat loss.05 depending on the area of the blanket. Typical thermal insulation materials used for these applications are foam and On Mars Pathfinder lander. are the MLI sensors. As the total thermal power more stringent thermal requirements. of .01 to 0. heaters. and temperature designs. such as Martian where a 8 to 10 ton-CO2 is present. The MLI acts as radiation barrier for the heat radiated from the spacecraft surface to the cold space. insulation insulation is the single thermal TCS. are generally control and equipment. to be managed on the spacecraft increases along with the TCS requires more sophisticated thermal heat pipes. The larger (over a square meter) the size of the blanket the lower will be the effective emittance. silk. size. a foam insulation was used. The external made out of 1 to 2-mil aluminized Kapton which and provides an MLI protection blanket during are held together tabs or buttons spaced shown in Figure I14. for the microrover. The the edges construction many layers or the use of of the MLI is vary depending on the number of layers of Mylar Kapton layer.25 mil thick metalized Mylar sheets separated by a mesh made of a low thermal conducting material such as Dacron.005 have been observed for blanket of 10 square meter surface For spacecraft operating in an environment where gas in present. installation The mass of the MLI blanket and also the thickness of the exterior fabricated square depending by stitching interval. Nomex. B. surface and high thermal environment.The actual implementation accomplished hardware by using of the thermal various used on spacecraft The most common blankets. during around A detailed tests. or other material. For all the earth orbiting and on most of the deep vacuum. circulating control range of materials. hardware design of thermal are used on the outer The MLI blankets surfaces are typically of all these 10 to 30 layers hardware used in the spacecraft space spacecraft operating in radiation to the deep space. The simple passive The thermal hardware capillary insulation pumped needed cooling liquids. radiators TCS designs pieces include a wide thermal hardware with high emissive incorporating to implement these pieces include mechanical thermal straps. Most of the 15-layer MLI blanket at JPL and used on spacecraft meter and handling by either at some regular layer of the MLI blanket are usually is much more rugged than the Mylar have a mass on the size of the blanket. a different kind of thermal insulation is required. special mechanical A. whereas. pumps Thermal Thermal the design. of 0. Radiators a silica aerogel was used as the thermal and louvers 2O insulation. all the heat loss from the spacecraft by thermal blankets for a spacecraft hardware. louvers. aerogel. thermal developed components used on any spacecraft coatings. of equipment is The thermal coating. most important that fall into this category loops for Martian and loop heat pipes.

In these cases. Louvers for heat balances that vary over large ranges. loops. these from the equipment to the radiator reject heat. the heat pipes are embedded honeycomb core. Radiators are typically made of aluminum plates that are either an integral part of the spacecraft structure or separately mounted units. below devices surface. In some cases or loop heat pipes to the radiator. The radiator surfaces have high emissivity temperature. to keep the equipment Two types of heaters By far the most 21 temperatures typically commonly used used type from on spacecraft are is the film heater . transferred coating to the radiator. devices In many cases. means by which the heat can be rejected are sized so that they can reject spacecraft from exceeding from the spacecraft the minimum its maximum amount temperature Radiators in a controlled of heat in order during are the only way. C. The radiators are sometime controlled by mechanical function much like Venetian blinds in front of a window. The blades which are made of thin aluminum sheet have a very low surface about 10 emissivity. by variable In response conductance to a signal heat (generated can vary their effective thermal conductance thus modulating the ability of the radiator to and thermostats heaters film heaters in Figure heat rejection either passively or actively). 16. such as heat pipes. is shown are used on the spacecraft their allowable and cartridge limits. thus when they are in a closed position. over the entire capillary the heat from the heat generating the two-phase length. earth orbiting compensate spacecraft spacecraft instrument (EOS-MLS) louvers. the covered surface of the radiator would have low emissivity resulting in a low heat rejection from the radiator. heaters. pumped loops. typically C. The details of the construction Radiator pipes. are attached when to the the area is large. eight bimetallic The actuators can be set to open the blades and expose the radiator over small temperature range. the radiators are made of thin aluminum face sheets sandwiching a honeycomb reduce the mass of the radiator. backside to reject the maximum amount of heat at a given The heat generated in the electronics equipment inside the spacecraft is to the radiator generally by direct conduction when the equipment is mounted directly equipment in order of the radiator two-phase devices are used to transfer In these cases. These devices Radiators and louvers are shown in Figure look and on an 15. capillary of the JPL louver Heaters Electric going rate can also be modulated pumped or loop heat pipes. The standard louvers number of blades spring core to inside the actuators (16-baldes or 8 blades heating of the spacecraft. to some degree for uncertainties used on the spacecraft have a fixed on JPL spacecratt) with each one controlling large Since a bithese and have one or two blades. They to keep the the hottest conditions during the mission.Radiatorsare animportantpartof the spacecraftthermalcontrol. passively controls louvers. for example when the is partially shut down or when the spacecraft distance to the sun becomes enough metallic to have a noticeable effect on the external actuator sensing the radiator temperature devices inherent have the additional advantage to compensate in any thermal design.

The effective The in the A thermal conductivity of the heat pipes greatly exceed that of material such as copper and at the same time are much lighter than the solid conducting devices. on the film heaters is limited to less than five Watts on the surface of the particular equipment that needs sensitive Depending The most between curved surfaces. 5 to 10 C. action Liquid is supplied generated of heat at the evaporator is conducted back to the radiator where it is back to a liquid. have of the heater. The longer the distance needed to transfer conductor. type is the thermostatic opens on the spacecraft. The working fluid in the pipe at the hot location to the cooler the pipe. thermostat which thermostat bimetallic adhesive. There are several other two-phase technologies such variable conductance heat pipes. are heat enclosed capillary transfer self-contained are shown pumped in Figure loops. thus releasing heat. The heat pipes remove heat from a hot source such as electronics box to a cold heat sink such as a radiator. They operate on the principle of capillary pressure that is developed in the grooves or wicks when the liquid is in contact. These are made of two layers of Kapton attached to the used on spacecraft pipes. end due to the induced The vapor carries pressure gradient with it the latent and the vapor between flows along the tube the hot and cold ends heat of vaporization which is released of at the The heat is conducted along the wall to the cold sink such as the radiator. however. The advantage of these heat pipes they have thin flexible lines to transport the vapor 22 and liquid and are lighter In is provided by the is that that regular . The vapor now. the heat pipe. capillary pumped loops the case of capillary by a wick located and loop heat pumped in the evaporator to this wick by a dedicated absorption condensed loops liquid pipes which are being and loop heat pipes. liquid in the pipe returns to the hot end by the capillary forces generated This completes schematic evaporates the cycle of heat transfer of the heat pipe concept is shown operation in Figure inside 18. condensed wick. used on the spacecraft common will always on the purpose or closes the heater thermostats Heat These sort of control different control circuit some using types over of control bimetallic are mechanical at a pre set temperature. there is a dead band The dead band chosen for thermostats typically D. devices based tubes containing over which range from the thermostats will close. cold end. The most common type used is the aluminum heat pipe containing ammonia as working fluid. line fed from the radiator. The set point at which the thermostat opens can be selected to suit ones application. used. Heat pipes the heat are being more efficient increasingly is the heat pipe compared used on spacecraft to the solid since the eighties. Typical 17. These are installed to be heated using a pressure The heaters their operation. fluid and have Heat pipes grooves are or wicks along the inside walls of the tube. The standard is a hermetically sealed can containing a switch driven by a snap action actuator. resistance filaments The heaters come sandwiched in various sizes to fit any applications Typically the heater power densities per square inch. which used on spacecraft all the wicking is the hot side of the pipe.dueto its flexibility to beinstalledon both fiat and electrical leads. and loop heat pipes on two phase working a working fluids.

operate if it is necessa_ etc. Despite thermal different the best attempts environment during from that during of the cold deep space during the ground the flight. in ground related is. inevitably. due to . There are mechanical heat switches where an actuator either makes breaks the thermal contact to achieve the switching action. OPERATIONS thermal control is not only to provide temperature control but also during the ground testing and launch phase of the mission. conduct very large amounts of heat. are used when heat structurally isolated flexible strap hardware hardware used heat switches.heatpipesfor transportingheatover long distances. Miscellaneous Some thermal of the other include thermal thermal straps. if necessary. Another key function health of the spacecraft during of the thermal control engineer is to monitor the thermal the entire period of the spacecraft life. conditions. These The bimetallic phase liquid pumps springs to remove of or and heat from are used on short space missions such as Space Shuttle and International Space Station. for thermal and mechanical control purposes pumps. E. they have been used on the Mars Pathfinder mission where these pumps operated continuously for seven months circulating external radiator. wax actuators are used provide the mechanical action. on spacecraft sun shades. I&T to exactly testing 23 more or less to make with flight conditions. heat Refrigerant The function during flight pumped cooling from the heat generating increasingly LAUNCH 11 liquid to remove Mechanical considered AND equipment for thermal FLIGHT of the spacecratt of the spacecraft heat from the electronics systems control provide and rejecting of future to an enormous flexibility it at the radiator in are spacecratt. removing being V. unexpected system should tlowever. monitoring the temperatures they are in compliance thermal control operations. Mechanical pumps the hot equipment are used to circulate and transfer a single it to a cold sink.They can also maintain tight temperature control and. testing fluxes. This is called the flight involves operations spacecraft and primarily components A properly autonomously to ensure designed during (due to equipment flight failure. Thermal straps need to be transferred from heat generating device but need to be from the vibrations of the heat sink. be possible simulate and launch The key difference and also the other of the various with the thermal the the very is the absence Also. Three capillary pumped loops are used on recently launched the spacecraft (EOS-TERRA in 2000) and loop heat pipes have been used on several operational communication satellites. Recently. A typical thermal strap has a with metal brackets at each end to attach the strap to the heat source and sinks. Heat switches are used to control the heat flow depending on the temperature the heat source. changes to modify is provided period solar and planetary requirements.) it may the operation of the thermal control system if the spacecraft requisite telemet_" and on-board control reprogrammability.

Once launched the flight data is then compared to analytical predictions to verify the design and help diagnose and correct any discrepancies.. analytically. and other demands In addition. use of redundant thermal control devices. louvers. simply innovations sophisticated. such as two- and long life mechanical requirements. and instruments must evolve control over time to requirements.short and the spacecraft's thermal capacitance is enough to prevent unacceptable temperature swings.) utilize "new" technology. etc. of SPACECARFT technologies and instrument subsystems such as heaters. Increasingly. the flight data can constitute valuable VI. 24 the radiator etc. spacecraft (ICESAT. can be challenging orientation. new science which inevitably increase. other subsystems. analytical thermal is an indicator model. However. even these recent inadequate for planned future missions. changes in thermostat set points. many spacecraft must be accounted that various eaush_-the-equipmem is also red _different controlled into the spacecraft problem generally is to check accurately hours of operation of the equipment heat is not removed the spacecraft vacuum chambers These differences air is often phase is usually not a thermally as it is ve_. ADVANCED Like other meet Clearly. Good and other it is important correlation that the spacecraft thermal as the spacecraft thermal to correlate between control components the ground analytical system not operate test data to the predictions is well might and test data designed. TECHNOLOGIES spacecraft ever more subsystems. now inadequate. As spacecraft is to achieve will naturally (e. coatings. For example. are even.often control missions devices heat pipes. In order to achieve this new science MLI.) and others in the development stage etc. Corrective measures may include modifications to operational pro_dures. TERRA. FUTURE evaluation . demanding the purpose thermal of new NASA on the engineering control technology. and other measures. environment temperature The early several overheat if the Often by a temperature controlled launch are for on the These tests involve from the ambient Filtered. assembled The purpose spacecraft of ground testing are functioning Tile pad environment must and contamination blown be protected form tent. challenging environments. and is affected by.limitations in the size of available thermal tested without their deployed solar array. operation in more such issues. However. Mars Exploration Rover. Conventional specialized numerous technology become more pumps. heat transport thermal greater pointing accuracy. and reliably equipment towhich may in-flight operations. information gleaned from "lessons leaned" for future missions. phase FOR spacecraft requires more sensitive measurements. thermal design is more and more intimately tied to other parts of the spacecraft and affects. for this purpose. transition to the final orbit or escape have its flight configuration In addition correctly trajectory or solar to verifying that heaters during ground testing. thermal recently launched to meet mission will clearly be the thermal control subsystem must also improve. Mars pathfinder. Swift.g.

the +/. a surface at deep cryogenic EHD. etc. which efforts two-phase new challenges coatings density temperatures • • devices phase "thermal capacitance" changing thermal discharge a great heat pumps thermal • for sensors. devices and components it is important of efforts which to a control heat transport restrict (due to schedule. • highly integrated very large mirrors. cooling sensors • capable optics. utilizing Current advanced cryocoolers (based • advanced thermal negligible balloons. amount to allow control These concepts of operating materials loads/environments. spacecratt temperatures control specialized (near thermal antennas.Theseinterrelationships current drivers • • greatly complicate the thermal design necessitating advanced thermal control include: tighter earlier temperature equipment control tight temperature control dimensional devices stability • temperature instruments control • extremely • advanced circuitry. a coolant control .) for circulating cycle. adiabatic demagnetization. and thin flaps of insulation that can be held close by utilizing an electrostatic effect • or similar design A variety control in response to maintain the sun or very deep designs and qualification technology. (mechanical..e. or off of. can change signal. Mars and planetary for simulating the effective when the temperature control tube effect. the performance high altitude of thermal conditions etc. MEMS scale thermal louvers. when rejection the desired pulse insulation cost. change space) to develop are underway.. cycle) for with a low. or their effective increase will improve Phase heat sink is near or above to greatly which of energy radiative use of and instruments of a device.g. environments to thermal testing areas optical cryogenic thermal approaches minimal ground other constraints) • at deep Some ( +/. heater power. but non- environments. 20 °C of resources (i. models involve include: the use of the electrochromic to.1 °C vs.perhaps thermal control with minimal mass and volume allowances. polymer devices utilizing effect. • miniaturization inside needing Accordingly. launch. material change melting on the Stirling test. atmosphere etc. • thermal over for large challenging conventional advanced requirements effort. 25 stability absorb under or of the temperature reverse Brayton or other thermal for environments and flight thermal materials or solidifying cycle.) fi'om the spacecratt and instrument to meet these of the (< 4 K) for optics of spacecratt resulting in high power efficient heat removal devices in order emissivity in order benches.) improved analytical designs • under long life pumps ground (e.

Fleeter. editors. MicroSpaceCrafi. and Gary Mulhern who provided some of the pictures used in this article. and Wertz. R. 1992.. editor. of Aeronautics (1992). electronic • cooling devices • improved controllers heat transport chips. Handbook.. January 1991 R.• miniaturizedthermal • materials two-phase structures • devices capable lasers. Thermal Larson. System Thermal-Hydraulics Design. "Thermal Environments" D-8160. Technology The Edge Spacecraft Thermal Prentice-Hall Laboratory. VA. integrated is ultimately by the imaginations driven devices or other by the need for such In addition to improved are robust a designer's W/cm 2) from with on-board engineers. New Jersey. embedded control of isothermalizing high heat fluxes of carbon technology of thermal of the new technologies identified their applicability. JPL Internal Reston. Clawson. M. Washington and Design. and Astronautics. Microcosm.. 5. American Aeronautics. capable very (e. Document 3. Agrawal. 4.F.g.. 7. 1991 for Space Power. control and flexible options when in developing ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The work described in this paper Laboratory. Space Inc. Mission Analysis California... (1994) Institute W. suitable diamond) • Improved devices with very high thermal and artificial capability.C. Spacecrat_. (1995). and 122 Progress in Astronautics and and Astronautics. 26 AIAA Washington Education D.. B. Space of Aeronautics (1990). Corporation. Krotiuk. Volume Institute J. Art Avila. 6. Series. of Geosynchronous series. The the preparation carried under authors of this article. D. Gilmore. This can significantly enhance thermal control concept for a given spacecraft.C. above of high energy electronic devices very large (hundreds and similar with sensors. chips.. Aerospace Los Angeles. Design Englewood. Management American W. Gary Kinsella. (editor). 2. Space a . Jet Propulsion J. temperature measurement and software thermal many for microsats conductivity devices of absorbing technologies and created performance. (1991). J. provided help during was partially of Technology. Vehicle Design. California Institute Aeronautics and Space Administration. Control Inc.. REFERENCES: 1. Griffin. D. and Glenn Tsuyuki. Propulsion. (1986). and nanosats various forms power converters. and French. City Press.. J. Siina Haarpanen who put together several of the tables and pictures. D. out at the Jet Propulsion a contract with the National like to thank several people At the Jet Propulsion who Laboratory: Ray Becker who reviewed the article. Torrance.

SP-164. SP-8105. Heat NASA Transfer. 27 1968 . NASA May 1973.8. Thermal Thermal Radiation Control. Spacecratt 9.

°C Low CRUISE Equipment Pathfinder) Allowable.150 NA -150 NA -40 55 -55 70 -55 55 -55 55 Petal Solar Arrays Gas Generator -90 -40 25 0 -120 50 -50 50 Petal Actuators Lander Th.Tables Table 1. Non Operating. High Low °C High STAGE Cruise Solar Array Parachute Canister & Motor -50 -45 77 40 -70 -45 77 40 Propellant Tank Thruster Valve 10 20 45 110 I0 45 20 50 10 45 10 45 -30 -40 40 65 -30 NA 40 NA . and Figures Temperature Spacecraft Component Requirements Equipment of Spacecraft Flight 0peratin Allowable.Outer Surface RAD Motor LANDER Equipment Radar Solid Shelf Altimeter State Power Antennas Amplifier Deep Space Transponder Electronic Module ROVER 28 . (Mars Flight 8. Batteries -40 -55 20 35 -60 40 -75 35 -100 60 -20 50 -100 -50 60 55 -30 -35 50 50 -30 50 -50 50 Mobility/Structure -80 40 -100 50 Battery Cameras -40 -85 45 25 -55 60 -85 25 Propellant Lines Integrated Pump Assembly Sun Sensor Head Heatshield .

10 to 40 -10 to 40 ' .100 to 40 Battery (lithium Electronics .130 to 50 .Table2 Component Temperature Requirements Spacecraft Operating for Earth (°C) Orbiting Spacecraft Non-Operating subsystem ACS -20 to 50 (Survival) (°C) -40 to 60 C&DH Electronics Communication Units -20 to 50 -20 to 50 -40 to 60 -40 to 60 Antennas .10 to 40 -20 to 50 Solar Array Panels Flexible Harness -50 to 55 -50 to 55 -75 to 70 -75 to 70 Propulsion System VEC Radiators VEC Electronics -20 to 40 -40 to 40 -20 to 50 -40 to 50 -60 to 60 -40 to 60 Actuators -55 tO 50 -80 to 70 -50 to 40 -20 to 40 -70 to 60 -30 to 50 Spacecratt Instruments Bus ion) 29 .

72 6.95 2.54 2.5 variesO:30 variesO=30 variesOGO _ _a=-O:04 234 + 7 234 + 7 234 + 7 1414 1323 1367 7.52 average) Infrared annual average) Geosynchronous Direct Solar Earth Orbit (GEO) Albedo Subsolar Orbit Peak Average Planetary Infrared 30 .52 5.63 5./ Table 3 Low Thermal and Geosynchronous Radiation Low Earth Orbit Direct Solar annual Planetary (global Orbit Thermal Environment Perihelion Aphelion W/m W/m z 2 Mean W/m 2 (LEO) Albedo (global Earth 1414 1323 1367.19 6.72 2.52 5.

29 0.12 0. ThermalEnvironmentfor VariousInnerplanetsof solarsystem Thermal Radiation Perihelion W/m z Aphelion W/m z Mean W/m z Mrcury Direct Solar 14462 6278 9126 Albedo 0.073 (subsolar peak) Planetary Infrared (subsolar (darkside peak) minimum) Venus Infrared Earth's Direct Moon Solar Albedo Planetary ' 1367 0.073 Infrared Subsolar peak Minimum 1314 1226 1268 5.29 (subsolar peak) Planetary Infrared Maximum: near subsolar 470 315 390 Minimum: 30 30 30 near polar caps 31 .2 5.12 0.073 1323 0.2 Mars Direct 717 493 589 Albedo Solar 0.2 5.29 0.12 12700 5500 8000 6 6 6 Direct Solar Albedo 2650 2759 2614 0.8 08 0.8 Planetary 153 153 153 1414 0.Table4.

1 0.7 4.52 0.47 0.282 0.Table5 ThermalEnvironmentfor the OuterPlanetsof the SolarSystem Thermal Perihelion W/m z Aphelion W/m z Ju__u_pit er Direct Solar 56 46 51 Albedo 0.3 0.6 0.63 1.8 13.343 13.56 0.6 4.6 Direct Solar Albedo 16.47 0.52 0.343 0.342 15.4 13.712700 13.3420.343 0.343 0.8 0.56 0.52 Direct Solar Albedo 1.47 Planetary 0.343 0.5 Planetary Infrared Neptune Direct Solar Albedo Planetary Infrared Pluto/Charon Infrared 32 2 .5 4.8 0.343 0.4 3.49 1.55 0.282 0.7 Radiation Planetary Infrared Mean W/m Saturn Infrared Uranus Direct Solar Albedo 0.72 0.54 1.282 0.342 Planetary 4.88 0.1 3.51 0.

7 to 0.9 0 148.15 0.2 to 0.3 0.antenna absorptance 0.9 60.5 60.3 0 452. deposited Anodized aluminum aluminum cells tanks Interior structure 0.8 60.15 0.3 to 0.9 0.2 to 0.5 0.1 to 0.9 0.9 60.Table6 Thermalpropertiesof spacecraftsurfaces Spacecraftsurface White paint Typicalapplication Solar Thermal emittance Radiator. of the design and area example Nadir 48.9 0.6 to 0.7 East 0 West 0 Flight 331.3 41.02 0. (W/m s) for all surfaces external surface. values.1 to0.6 433.05 0.6 433.01 to 0.8 33 of .6 0.7 408.7 0.8 to 0.8 thermal Table insulation Solar panels Exterior surface MLI* * Effective the blanket thermal Propellant Gold Solar structure.9 reflector Black paint Interior solar array Radiator Optical solar reflector Teflon with silver Radiators.6 101.1 41.4 211.3 41.2 0.9 Interior structure 0.6 101.5 to 0.65 to 0.05 insulation of internal layers. 7 Average dependant incident Albedo Planet Total IR on number heat fluxes Zenith 452.4 Solar 0.9 Trailing 331.3 41. insulation backing Kapton Thermal film (aluminum backing) Aluminum tape.75 0.2 to 0.8 to 0.3 0.9 0.

anEarthOrbiting Spacecraftlaunched April 15. ThermalControl Systemof Landsat-7.Figure 1. 1999 Coolerl_r Scanner Radiator ffllverTelton 34 .

Mars Pathfinder spacecrat_ and its thermal Solar control system Array Fluid cooling loop to transfer Radiator electronics Muitilayer Insulation blanket on propulsion tanks Mars Entry Heat Shield 35 .Figure 2.

Figure 3. Thermal Control S

stem of an Interplaneta D' System (Cassini spacecraft) J f" j. (3) box ./_ Antenna with white paint Thermal control louvers Huygen's Titan Probe MLI covering most of the spacecraft Thruster Thermal control RTG power source 3(.

Figure 4.. applicable to heat rejection surfaces or thermal interface locations...: DT Design Temperature 37 DT Limit that unit can survive. Performance not required.. within spec is Often reduced to . OT li_t. Thermal requirements and margins for tests x and design _dl AFT Thermal design requirement.... Sometimes tailored to read "return to performance within spec when temp returns to AVI"' Acceptance Temperature | QT Qualification Temperature . + . AT I_ + + + Applicable subsequent one unit is Units have test limit for units ff more than being produced....'V..... to function within + QT + A AFT Allowable Flight Temperature AT Applicable test limit if only one unit is built umt has to function within spec.

1 1 10 AbsorptancelEmittance Figure 6.1 1 Distance 10 from the Sun (AU) 38 100 .250 20O 150 0.E300 I-= m _e U 200 m S aturn 100 Uranus Pluto . Temperature of a black sphere exposed to sunlight at different planets 600 5OO 4O0 & nus ... Nel 0 0.Figure 5 Spacecrafttemperatureasa functionofot/e andprojectedareato total area ratio 500 450 400 350 0 " E 300 4) I.

I "1 Integration & Test • Assemble hardware and validate function Mission Operation • launch and perform 39 mission _-.• refine design Detailed Design for fabrication . Details of the spacecraft Conceptual Design • high level trades between design options thermal k] .Figure 7.- ] design activities Prelimima'y Design • establish baseline design . Thermal design process Conlrols [ ÷ Resources Figure 9.. <1( Environmental )t> _'ff_'_ Direct heat flux for Solar Flux _ an orbiting _ Emitted " Radiation spacecrat_ f Figure 8.

Figure 10.Orbital 200 Orb it 40 IR Average Radiator Facing Nadir . External Equatorial Plane heat flux on the nadir Environment Z facing panel of the spacecraft for a Low Earth Orbit I [ Environment • Total Solar Albedo Earth . Thermal design example of simple earth orbiting spacecraft Z I Ecliptic Plane I Sub-solar coint Y X Figure Typical _"_- 11.

Figure 12.5 m (25 fl) _PACE _IMULATDR CROSS SECTION 41 ! (LOOKING EAST) BUILDING 150 . JPL 25-tt thermal vacuum chamber / ! / / JPL 7.

Figure 13 Cassi_li spacecraft in the JPL 25-fl thermal 42 vacuum test chamber .

Multilayer thermal insulation used Outer cover 2 mil Kapton aluminized inside on spacecraft 15 layer 1/4 mil Mylar aluminized Hot side cover 1 mil Kapton aluminized both sides Separator 16 layers 43 mesh.Figure 14. Dacron .

Mechanicallouversusedon EOS-MLS spacecraftradiators I Thermal louvers 44 .Figure 15.

Tin Plated 18.Figure 16. Heat I ' used on spacecraft /_ .Fine Silver . Construction details of a mechanical Louver _ used on spacecraft Slmc"tural Frame . Cold Rolled Steel . Construction details F of a thermostat ((0---_ \ It _ _ / it Conlacts M / U _ OverMenel AI Cold Rolled Steel .l_ctualor Spoa Figure 17.Tin Plated r-'Glass Header \ Ceramic " pipe operation 45 .BeCu Figure ".

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stem of an Interplaneta D' System (Cassini spacecraft) J f" j. (3) box ./_ Antenna with white paint Thermal control louvers Huygen's Titan Probe MLI covering most of the spacecraft Thruster Thermal control RTG power source 3(.

Figure 4.. applicable to heat rejection surfaces or thermal interface locations...: DT Design Temperature 37 DT Limit that unit can survive. Performance not required.. within spec is Often reduced to . OT li_t. Thermal requirements and margins for tests x and design _dl AFT Thermal design requirement.... Sometimes tailored to read "return to performance within spec when temp returns to AVI"' Acceptance Temperature | QT Qualification Temperature . + . AT I_ + + + Applicable subsequent one unit is Units have test limit for units ff more than being produced....'V..... to function within + QT + A AFT Allowable Flight Temperature AT Applicable test limit if only one unit is built umt has to function within spec.

1 1 10 AbsorptancelEmittance Figure 6.1 1 Distance 10 from the Sun (AU) 38 100 .250 20O 150 0.E300 I-= m _e U 200 m S aturn 100 Uranus Pluto . Temperature of a black sphere exposed to sunlight at different planets 600 5OO 4O0 & nus ... Nel 0 0.Figure 5 Spacecrafttemperatureasa functionofot/e andprojectedareato total area ratio 500 450 400 350 0 " E 300 4) I.

I "1 Integration & Test • Assemble hardware and validate function Mission Operation • launch and perform 39 mission _-.• refine design Detailed Design for fabrication . Details of the spacecraft Conceptual Design • high level trades between design options thermal k] .Figure 7.- ] design activities Prelimima'y Design • establish baseline design . Thermal design process Conlrols [ ÷ Resources Figure 9.. <1( Environmental )t> _'ff_'_ Direct heat flux for Solar Flux _ an orbiting _ Emitted " Radiation spacecrat_ f Figure 8.

Figure 10.Orbital 200 Orb it 40 IR Average Radiator Facing Nadir . External Equatorial Plane heat flux on the nadir Environment Z facing panel of the spacecraft for a Low Earth Orbit I [ Environment • Total Solar Albedo Earth . Thermal design example of simple earth orbiting spacecraft Z I Ecliptic Plane I Sub-solar coint Y X Figure Typical _"_- 11.

Figure 12.5 m (25 fl) _PACE _IMULATDR CROSS SECTION 41 ! (LOOKING EAST) BUILDING 150 . JPL 25-tt thermal vacuum chamber / ! / / JPL 7.

Figure 13 Cassi_li spacecraft in the JPL 25-fl thermal 42 vacuum test chamber .

Multilayer thermal insulation used Outer cover 2 mil Kapton aluminized inside on spacecraft 15 layer 1/4 mil Mylar aluminized Hot side cover 1 mil Kapton aluminized both sides Separator 16 layers 43 mesh.Figure 14. Dacron .

Mechanicallouversusedon EOS-MLS spacecraftradiators I Thermal louvers 44 .Figure 15.

Tin Plated 18.Figure 16. Heat I ' used on spacecraft /_ .Fine Silver . Construction details of a mechanical Louver _ used on spacecraft Slmc"tural Frame . Cold Rolled Steel . Construction details F of a thermostat ((0---_ \ It _ _ / it Conlacts M / U _ OverMenel AI Cold Rolled Steel .l_ctualor Spoa Figure 17.Tin Plated r-'Glass Header \ Ceramic " pipe operation 45 .BeCu Figure ".

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