Operational Thermal Control of Cassini Titan Flybys 2003-01-2685
The Cassini spacecraft will make 45 targeted flybys of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. 25 flybys will have a relatively low closest approach target altitude in Titan's atmosphere. An operational thermal control strategy has been developed for these flybys. The challenge met was to provide flyby operational thermal control that enabled science and remained within design limitations and Project constraints. Thermal engineers adopted a Systems-level approach that insured appropriate risk mitigation and information accuracy. This paper focuses on the technical thermal control evaluation and strategy, the Systems-level approach taken, and lessons learned and recommendations in an operations environment.