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Proceedings Paper

Thermal control analysis on a 6U CubeSat equipped with a high-power laser
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Paper Abstract

A satellite in orbit is exposed to external radiation from space, including: solar radiation, reflected light and earth emission. Heat is also generated through its internal components. Thermal design considerations are necessary to prevent any component from being damaged by excessive heating and to guarantee its performance. This paper explores options for thermal control mechanisms onboard a 6U CubeSat that includes a high-power laser. The CubeSat mission represents a space environment demonstration of a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) project for determining asteroid composition. A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) CubeSat mission is simulated at 650 km altitude, and the sensor system will determine through spectrometric detection the composition of a cold target heated by an on-board laser. An intuitive interface was created using MATLAB’s tool GUIDE, where orbit, altitude and satellite position are input parameters that result in the average temperature at each orbit point, presented on a globe. The challenge is to find devices capable of controlling the temperature on the surfaces of the nanosatellite, and to be efficient enough to handle the heat generated by the laser when it is activated, requiring dissipation and expulsion of approximately 200 W. Mechanical designs tested include thermal straps, heat pipes, passive radiative surfaces and active schemes such as thermal louvres. Based on thermal gradients from analytical simulations and state-of-the-art in CubeSat thermal control, some of the tested thermal control schemes maintain the equipment within its working temperature range. The viability of selected thermal control schemes is discussed in this article.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 2018
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 10769, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing II, 107690T (18 September 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2320750
Show Author Affiliations
Bárbara M. Franco, Federal Univ. of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Guilherme L. Dornelles, Federal Univ. of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Luis F. O. Riva, Federal Univ. of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Jhônatas H. Garcia, Federal Univ. of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Djulia L. Guarnieri, Federal Univ. of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Kleber V. Paiva, Federal Univ. of Santa Catarina (Brazil)
Gary B. Hughes, California Polytechnic State Univ., San Luis Obispo (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10769:
CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing II
Thomas S. Pagano; Charles D. Norton, Editor(s)

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