Development of Thermal Control Components for the BepiColombo Mission to Mercury 2003-01-2468
The BepiColombo mission to planet Mercury requires the availability of advanced thermal control materials to cope with the extreme heat and radiation fluxes exposed to in the vicinity of Mercury.
In a first activity, a new Multi-Layer Insulation has been developed able to withstand the high temperatures and particle fluxes. Advanced materials are used in the MLI for the reflection screens as well as for the spacers. In addition, a sun shield has been defined using a ceramic fabric. In a current activity a Solar Reflector Coating, an Optical Surface Reflector and an Infrared Rejection Device are being developed.
This paper presents the current status in the development of the thermal insulation and other thermal control components required for the BepiColombo mission. The selection of the materials is presented and, as far as already available, results from the characterization testing.