Highly Isothermal Composite - Heatpipe Radiator Panel
To meet the goals of the Operationally Responsive Space program, the thermal control system must be robust, modular and scalable to cover the wide range of components, payloads, and missions. Innovative solutions that enable isothermal satellite structures and inter-panel connections are needed. kTC has demonstrated an innovative thermal distribution panel (TDP) consisting of a high conductivity (>800 W/mK) macro composite skin with in situ heat pipes. The processing technologies demonstrated can also be used to produce this panel with high structural stiffness, similar to aluminum honeycomb type structure currently in use. This advanced TDP material concept with its high conductance will obviate the need for bulky metal thermal doublers and heat pipe saddles. The conductivity of the proposed material system can be configured to exceed 800 W/mK with a mass density below 2.5 g/cm3. This material can provide efficient conductive heat transfer between the in situ heat pipes permitting the use of thinner panel thicknesses further reducing the mass of this critical spacecraft subsystem kTC proved the feasibility of producing the proposed TDP and confirmed by measurements the performance gains the technology affords in the Phase I program. The Phase II work will concentrate on process refinements and scale up. BENEFIT: The high conductance material to be demonstrated under this program would have immediate applications in Air Force systems, as well as other military, NASA, and commercial uses. Key potential post application relies heavily on the successful verification and certification of the proposed materials"performance. With increasing acceptance, the technology will be attractive to high performance commercial (space based) applications. Enabling technologies will allow the increase of production and the realization of the economies of scale.
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