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.

Understanding fluid behavior in microgravity is essential to further development of cryogenic storage in space environments. The Reduced Gravity Cryogenic Transfer project is designed to investigate tank chilldown in a microgravity environment onboard a parabolic flight. This work focused on examining the feasibility of chilling down different tank sizes using liquid nitrogen within the time constraints of the flight. Thermal models of four different tank geometries were made using Thermal Desktop and SINDA/FLUINT.

Productivity bottlenecks for integrated thermal, structural, and optical design activities were identified and systematically eliminated, making possible automated exchange of design information between different engineering specialties.

This study explores the capability of Thermal Desktop to map temperatures from a thermal model to a Nastran model to evalautate thermal stress and distortion

Loss in optical fiber coupling efficiency and transmission are computed for a telecommunication optical circulator. Optical performance degradation is due to thermally induced optical errors in the two beam splitter cubes. The computation of the optical errors is discussed for two materials and the effects illustrated. Bulk volumetric absorption of the incident laser radiation from the input optical fiber and surface absorption via the coatings on the beam splitter interface generate temperature gradients.

A study of the mechanical systems contributing to the design and performance of a picosatellite’s mission in low-Earth orbit (LEO) was performed through design and analysis. The unique architecture of this satellite stems from a form factor established by the internationally recognized CubeSat Program. This CubeSat-Plus architecture limits the satellite’s size to be no larger than a 10 x 10 x 15 cm cube with an overall mass not exceeding 2 kg.

This document summarizes the activities of the WPI Nanosat-3 (N3) program proposed in response to a BAA by the AFOSR and AIAA (University Nanosat Program, AFOSR BAA 2003-02) . Specifically, we proposed to have WPI undergraduate and graduate student teams under the direct guidance of WPI faculty, develop a nanosat that would be used as a vehicle to investigate:

The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is the next generation space vehicle to follow the Space Shuttle. A design with the inclusion of a Composite Pressure Vessel (CPV) has been assessed for its thermal response. The temperature distribution on the CPV that results from the heat produced by internal spacecraft systems and external space environments was calculated as part of a project-level assessment to understand thermomechanical stresses.

Complex products are best developed in a collaborative design environment where engineering data and CAD/CAE results can be shared across engineering discipline boundaries within a common software interface. A new software tool that allows Electro-Optical (EO) sensors to be developed in this manner has been used to conduct an integrated Structural/Thermal/Optical (STOP) analysis of a critical lens subassembly in a flight payload. This paper provides a description of the software environment and a summary of the technical results that were produced with it.

Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are replacing the Nickel–Hydrogen batteries used on the International Space Station (ISS). Knowing that LIB efficiency and survivability are greatly influenced by temperature, this study focuses on the thermo-electrochemical analysis of LIBs in space orbit. Current finite element modeling software allows for advanced simulation of the thermo-electrochemical processes; however the heat transfer simulation capabilities of said software suites do not allow for the extreme complexities of orbital-space environments like those experienced by the ISS.