Journal of Astronautics ›› 2021, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (11): 1396-1403.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2021.11.006

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Modular Thermal Control Technology and Its Application for Circular Low Earth Orbit Satellites

HU Guo jie, CHEN Yu jun, WANG Min, ZHOU Jiang, TAO Jia sheng, LI Yi fan, LIU Bai lin   

  1. Institute of Telecommunication and Navigation Satellites, China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing 100094, China
  • Received:2020-12-29 Revised:2021-03-10 Online:2021-11-15 Published:2021-11-15

Abstract: Differently from traditional integration satellites, the modular satellites consist of several structurally independent modules and the heat dissipation is unevenly distributed, while the interface between modules should support repeatable connection separating. Therefore, the traditional thermal control design, which supports the independent heat dissipation of an integration satellite, cannot meet the thermal control requirements of the modular satellite. In this paper the modular thermal control technology is proposed. The carbon nanotube array on metal substrate is used as the thermal interface of the modules to realize the separable cross module heat transfer. The internal surface of structural panels is coated by graphene film to enhance the internal heat transfer in the modules with limited internal space. The smart thermal control coating is used at all the heat rejection surfaces to suppress the orbital heat flux variations. By using the technology, the thermal connection of the assembly and reconstruction system is built and the synergistic heat dissipation of the whole satellite is achieved. As to validate the proposed technology, the finite element model of the circular low earth orbit satellite is established and the in orbit temperature in the extreme working conditions is simulated. The result indicates that the modular thermal control technology proposed in this paper can satisfy the thermal control demand of the modular satellite. 

Key words: Modular satellite, Thermal control technology, Carbon nanotube array on metal substrate, Smart thermal control coating, Finite element analysis

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