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Proceedings Paper

Passive thermal control with passive sun shield for low-temperature sensors
Author(s): Matthew J. Schor
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Paper Abstract

Sensing missions using small satellites impose thermal and power requirements upon the satellite which are difficult to meet due to the limited power available. Sensors such as short wavelength infrared detectors and gamma ray spectrometers require operating temperatures on the order of 100 to 200 Kelvin. A conventional thermal control system would use an active cooler or an active sun shade to meet the sensor temperature requirement. This solution requires significant power, increases the weight of the satellite, and reduces the reliability since active components are required. A completely passive design employing a radiator protected by a set of self actuating sun shade panels can alleviate the need for active cooling of the sensor, while reducing the weight of the satellite. A unique feature of this design is that it allows the radiator to continue to function while shading the radiator from the sun for low incident sun angles. In addition, this design can completely shield the sensor from direct overhead sunlight during non-operating modes. This protection is important in germanium crystal gamma ray spectrometers since cosmic rays can damage the crystal if the temperature rises above 110 Kelvin.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 August 1992
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 1691, Small Satellite Technologies and Applications II, (10 August 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138028
Show Author Affiliations
Matthew J. Schor, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1691:
Small Satellite Technologies and Applications II
Brian J. Horais, Editor(s)

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