The Thermal Design of the SWARM Spacecraft 2008-01-2064
The Earth Explorer Missions are part of the Earth Observation Envelope Programme (EOEP). They are small missions led and funded by the European Space Agency to cover primary research objectives. The SWARM Mission has been approved for implementation as the fifth Earth Explorer Mission. The prime contractor for the SWARM project is Astrium Germany and the platform contractor is Astrium UK.
The mission consists of three spacecraft which will accurately monitor the variations in the Earth's magnetic field. This leads to constraints, for the Thermal Control Sub-System, on the selection of thermal finishes and in the selection of heater mats. The thermal finishes must not impinge on the local magnetic field, so as to change the measurements being taken. Similarly, current flowing in heater circuits must not provide a net magnetic field. These requirements present difficult challenges for the thermal design.
This paper discusses the thermal design of the SWARM spacecraft and how the difficult issues were overcome.