Modeling and Analysis of a Robust Thermal Control System Based on Forced Convection Thermal Switches
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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There is a critical need, not just in the Department of Defense DOD but the entire space industry, to reduce the development time and overall cost of satellite missions. To that end, the DOD is actively pursuing the capability to reduce the deployment time of a new system from years to weeks or even days. The goal is to provide the advantages space affords not just to the strategic planner but also to the battlefield commanders. One of the most challenging aspects of this problem is the satellites thermal control system TCS. Traditionally the TCS must be vigorously designed, analyzed, tested, and optimized from the ground up for every satellite mission. This reinvention of the wheel is costly and time intensive. The next generation satellite TCS must be modular and scalable in order to cover a wide range of applications, orbits, and mission requirements. To meet these requirements a robust thermal control system utilizing forced convection thermal switches was investigated. The problem was investigated in two separate stages. The first focused on the overall design of the bus. The second stage focused on the overarching bus architecture and the design impacts of employing a thermal switch based TCS design. For the hot case, the fan provided additional cooling to increase the heat transfer rate of the subsystem. During the cold case, the result was a significant reduction in survival heater power.
- Unmanned Spacecraft