This paper describes the thermal design and analysis of RADARSAT-2, a commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite for earth observation.
The particular thermal design challenges faced by RADARSAT-2 are the continually varying thermal environment imposed by its dawn-dusk, sun-synchronous orbit and the wide range of operational capabilities of the SAR payload.
The SAR antenna is a 15m active array design that incorporates 512 transmit/receive (T/R) modules distributed throughout the antenna panels. The thermal environment for these high-dissipation units must be maintained throughout the various mission configurations.
The Bus and the Extendable Support Structure (ESS) which deploys and supports the SAR antenna must provide a thermoelastically stable platform from which to mount the SAR antenna as well as the attitude sensors.
A design goal, which has been achieved, is to use conventional passive thermal control techniques incorporating selective surfaces, MLI insulation, heat pipe networks and heaters.