Intelligent Variable Emittance Panels Using New, """"True"""" Solid Electrolyte
This work further developed a highly promising Variable Emittance technology for spacecraft thermal control based on Conducting Polymer (CP) electrochromics developed earlier by this firm with the Air Force, NASA and JPL, with: Extremely thin (< 0.2 mm), flexible (plastic), lightweight (0.176 kg/m^2), extremely durable, variable area (0.5 cm^2 - 0.5 m^2), flat-panel construction; high Delta Emittance (DE) (> 0.4); cyclability > 10^4 cycles, switching < 5 s; power 40 iW/cm^2; proven space durability; low cost (est. < $5K/m^2). A key technical barrier of this earlier-generation technology was the need for a hermetic seal and bulky CsI windows/frame, problems associated therewith, due to the gel electrolyte used needing some moisture content to be ?sealed in?. In Phase I, use of newly discovered, ?true? solid, room temperature molten salt electrolytes (?IonEls?) eliminated the hermetic seal. Devices showed: DE > 0.5; excellent space durability (> 23000 electrochromic, > 90 thermal cycles over 23 days in space vacuum, > 500 h UV, operating temperature -45 to +100 C, no outgassing). Alpha(s)-lowering and ITO coatings were demonstrated. Phase II will complete a much more rigorous space durability testing regime, optimize devices, demonstrate intelligent control of device arrays, start pilot-scale production and costing, and initiate flight tests.
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Ashwin-Ushas Corp Inc.
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