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Passive Thermal Control Design Methods, Analysis, Comparison, and Evaluation for Micro and Nanosatellites Carrying Infrared Imager
Advancements in satellite technologies are increasing the power density of electronics and payloads. When the power consumption increases within a limited volume, waste heat generation also increases and this necessitates a proper and efficient thermal management system. Mostly, micro and nanosatellites use passive thermal control methods because of the low cost, no additional power requirement, ease of implementation, and better thermal performance. Passive methods lack the ability to meet certain thermal requirements on larger and smaller satellite platforms. This work numerically studies the performance of some of the passive thermal control techniques such as thermal straps, surface coatings, multi-layer insulation (MLI), and radiators for a 6U small satellite configuration carrying a mid-wave infrared (MWIR) payload whose temperature needs to be cooled down to 100K. Infrared (IR) imagers require low temperature, and the level of cooling is entirely dependent on the infrared wavelengths. These instruments are used for various applications including Earth observations, defence, and imaging at IR wavelengths. To achieve these low temperatures on such instruments, a micro-cryocooler is considered in this study. Most of the higher heat dissipating elements in the satellite are mounted to a heat exchanger plate, which is thermally coupled to an external radiator using thermal straps and heat pipes. The effects of the radiator size, orbital inclinations, space environments, satellite attitude with respect to the sun, and surface coatings are discussed elaborately for a 6U satellite configuration.
Source: Applied Sciences, 2022, 12(6), 2858
Author: Shanmugasundaram Selvadurai, Amal Chandran, David Valentini, and Bret Lamprecht
Content Tags: mli, multi-layer insulation, surface elements, surface coating a mesh, radiator, phase change material, thermocouples, finite element, finite elements, convergence, material properties, properties, CCHP
Highlights in thermal engineering at Carlo Gavazzi Space
A CAD-based Tool for FDM and FEM Radiation and Conduction Modeling
Thermal engineering has long been left out of the concurrent engineering environment dominated by CAD (computer aided design) and FEM (finite element method) software. Current tools attempt to force the thermal design process into an environment primarily created to support structural analysis, which results in inappropriate thermal models. As a result, many thermal engineers either build models “by hand” or use geometric user interfaces that are separate from and have little useful connection, if any, to CAD and FEM systems.
This paper describes the development of a new thermal design environment called the Thermal Desktop. This system, while fully integrated into a neutral, low-cost CAD system, and which utilizes both FEM and FD methods, does not compromise the needs of the thermal engineer. Rather, the features needed for concurrent thermal analysis are specifically addressed by combining traditional parametric surface-based radiation and FD based conduction modeling with CAD and FEM methods. The use of flexible and familiar temperature solvers such as SINDA/FLUINT is retained.
Author: Tim Panczak, Steve Ring, Mark Welch
Content Tags: finite element, finite difference, concurrent engineering, heater, heatpipe, heat pipe, radiation analysis groups, optical properties, Phenomena, refraction, scaffolding, CAD geometry, layers, expression editor, solver, mesh, mesher, structural mesh, ray tracing, boundary conditions, thermal stress, radiator, conductance, batteries, orbital heating, mli, multi-layer insulation, radks, articulation, articulating