Multi-Layer Insulation Fabrication and Resistance on Blanket Surface 2013-01-2076
Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI) is the thermal insulation typically used in spacecraft or any other devices that are exposed to both extreme heat and cold. MLI blankets work to protect delicate internal and external applications from UV radiation, atomic oxygen, and mechanical stresses by using Teflon coated fiberglass cloth. The layers are usually made of a film made out of polyester or polyimide with vapor deposited layers of aluminum on one or both sides of the film to form reflector layers. These reflectors are separated by materials with low thermal conductivity. All the layers simply protect the system by preventing excessive heat loss from inner components and excessive heating from outer sources.
Typically, MLI blankets are divided into a cover or outer layer, a reflector, a separator layer, an inner layer, and it has hardware installed to pass electrical charge from the surface of the blanket. As the roles of each layer differ, materials that fit the role are used to fabricate specific layers.
In this paper we will discuss an issue of passing conductivity on blankets, passing conductivity between hardware installed on the surface of the blankets, and alternate materials to make MLI blankets.