Design and Ground Test Results of a Variable Emittance Radiator 2000-01-2277
The Smart Radiation Device (SRD) which is made from a ceramic material is a thin and light tile. The material undergoes a metal-insulator transition at around 290K and this allows the infrared emissivity of the device to change from low to high as the temperature is increased from 175K to 375K. This is beneficial for thermal control applications on spacecraft. For example, bonded only to the external surface of the spacecraft's instruments, SRD controls the heat radiated to deep space without electrical instruments or mechanical parts used for changing emissivity. It reduces the energy consumption of the electrical heater for thermal control, and decreases the weight and the cost of the thermal control system.
In this paper, the design of the new material for SRD and the ground test results such as the radiation tests of electrons and UV will be described.