Development Of The Miniature Spacecraft Energy Retention (MiSER) Thermal Control Panel 2001-01-2219
Over the past two years, Starsys and The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) have been working toward the development of a thermal panel that uses a spacecraft’s internal power to control its temperature. The panel incorporates two different thermal technologies: a thermal switch and a high conductivity composite radiator. While thermal switches have been used before, the design and testing costs associated with each new design make them an undesirable alternative. The MISER panel incorporates a fully tested thermal switch with a radiator into a modular system that can be easily added onto any spacecraft structure. The lightweight radiator makes it self-supporting, so interfaces with the mounting structure are simplified. The same panel can provide thermal control over a wide range of environmental conditions, making constellation spacecraft viable with significantly different orbits. The paper discusses the development of the MISER panel and the analysis and testing done to quantify the performance of the system.