Forced Air Convection Thermal Switch Concept for Responsive Space Missions
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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There has been a growing need in the Department of Defense to make space more responsive and cost effective. Instead of taking years to design and deploy a new satellite, the goal is weeks or even days. To meet this challenge, the methodologies used to design, manufacture, test, launch, and deploy satellites must radically change. One of the most challenging aspects of this problem is the satellites Thermal Control System TCS. Traditionally, the TCS is vigorously designed, analyzed, and optimized for every satellite mission. The ideal TCS for responsive space would be robust and modular with an inherent plug-and-play capability. The focus of this work was to investigate the design of a thermal control system based on a forced air convection thermal switch FACTS concept. The concept consists of separating the individual satellite subsystems and enclosing them each in hermetically sealed enclosures. The temperature is then controlled by modulating the heat transfer coefficient with a DC axial fan. Using FACTS, a conservative switching ratio of 691 was achieved.
- Unmanned Spacecraft