Complex Space System Requires Novel Thermal Solution
Communications Satellite Chief Engineering and Program Management experience afforded the opportunity to assess a challenged project, identify risks and technical challenges then develop a plan to move the project forward.
An innovative satellite manufacturer endeavored to push their communication technology in a novel satellite design the team was faced with a high-powered payload with exceedingly high thermal dissipation requirements. While the communications electronics continued to evolve the requirements for an existing thermal control architecture capable of keeping pace with the project seemed unrealistic.
Identifying a range of performance to maintain a near isothermal state across the payload electronics an assessment of thermal control technologies were evaluated to meet performance requirements while minimizing impact to the satellite structure architecture, system mass and subsystems arrangement. An entirely novel thermodynamic architecture was selected as the best technology match to the demands being adaptable to a range of performance needs. Performing a reliability trade of components in varying failure modes allowed a solution that supported redundancy of specific items without bearing the complexity, performance limitations and mass penalty of a fully redundant architecture. Employing novel manufacturing technologies and materials further simplified integration, minimizing cost and improved system serviceability.
The development of the thermal control subsystem included the introduction of a new working fluid following a detailed evaluation of thermal performance requirements as well as fluid dynamic behavior and chemical property stability in space environments. The development work resulted in a simple inexpensive thermal control solution that when properly conditioned would satisfy long duration missions without degrading thermal control performance.
CREAN. For when it does take a rocket scientist.