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One of the major challenges facing design of micro-satellites operating in low Earth orbits is the design of an adequate thermal control subsystem because of the limitations on power, mass and volume. The micro-satellites are vulnerable to temperature changes induced by the varying orbital heat loads as their mass decreases. The electronic modules necessary for satellite mission are attached to the satellite structure generally by means of bolted joints or other clamping devices. Thermal contact resistances appear at these interfaces due to imperfect contact. Including thermal contact resistance in design calculations is one of the important parameters to study its effect on satellite thermal envelope and evaluate the satellite thermal control subsystem efficiency. Results of a theoretical study showed that the satellite thermal envelop has no respect changes from the qualitative point of view; quantitatively small changes of no more than 1Â°C are detected in few places of structure joint interfaces.
Aerospace Conference, 2010 IEEE
Date of Conference: 6-13 March 2010