RADIO-ACTIVE HEATING OF SATELLITES,
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV SILVER SPRING MD APPLIED PHYSICS LAB
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The importance of temperature control in satellites so as to maintain components within operating limits is well known. As the emphasis in satellite usage has shifted to the economical maintenance of operational systems, attention has been directed to the factors influencing satellite life in orbit. There is a prevalent belief that one cause of satellite equipment failure is mechanical fatigue failure as the result of stress changes due to temperature changes, even though component limits are not exceeded. There is an interest in maintaining satellite temperatures as constant as possible, as well as remaining within prescribed limits. The paper presents a way of accomplishing both objectives. The technical information was derived from public sources, including Source Book on Atomic Energy by Glasstone, Thermoelectric Materials and Devices by Cadoff and Miller, and official press releases. The reader is advised not to infer the application of the design considerations herein discussed to any specific satellite program or satellite model. This study was performed with the cooperation and advice of R. E. Davis, W. J. Billerbeck and his associates of this Laboratory, and L. D. Eckard, Jr., now a member of NASA. Their assistance is gratefully acknowledged.
- Unmanned Spacecraft