Isothermal Satellite Panels and Inter-Panel Connections
Small Business Information
1575 North 600 East, Suite 110, North Logan, UT, 84341
PI/Sr. Research Engineer
PI/Sr. Research Engineer
AbstractThermal Management Technologies (TMT), a newly formed small business with strategic ties to the Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) at Utah State University, is proposing to determine the feasibility of fabricating isothermal panels and inter-panel connections that will meet the thermal performance requirements as outlined in AF083-217. These panels are based on Channel Panel technology that has been under development at SDL for the past decade. Recent advancements in manufacturing processes allow the fabrication of Channel Panel units using a variety of materials including metals, plastics and carbon-based composites. These panels may be fabricated into strong, light-weight sandwich-like panels that serve as the mechanical structure as well as the thermal management system. Electrical and electronic components may be molded into or attached directly to the panels making them truly multifunctional modules. TMT has already demonstrated functioning isothermal Channel Panels in a 1-g laboratory environment. The Phase I objectives are: (1) develop modular satellite architecture that is compatible with Channel Panel technology; (2) design inter-panel connections that minimize temperature gradients between panels; (3) analyze mass and thermal capacitance parameters for the modular multifunctional panels and connections; (4) investigate space environment compatibility of Channel Panel and inter-panel connections. BENEFIT: Development of modular structural panels that accept component heat, convey that heat to energy rejection surfaces, and remain essentially isothermal will provide the Air Force with low-cost, low-risk, plug and play thermal management solution. If the connections between modular panels can be shown to exhibit low thermal impedance and change-out of modular panels can be quickly and efficiently accomplished, the rapid response objectives can be realized. Any aerospace firm competing for contracts to build rapid response spacecraft will also have serious interest in demonstrable and feasible technologies capable of meeting deployment time constraints. These companies will provide a very substantial commercial market for the use of this technology.
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