Techniques for Optimisation of Passive Thermal Control for Spacecraft 871462
Recent development programmes have demonstrated that considerable improvements in the thermal and mechanical properties of CMX optical solar reflectors (OSRs) can be achieved. Optical coatings have been used to increase infra-red emittance by 4% and to decrease solar absorptance by 50% enabling more efficient thermal control. Another programme aimed at enhancing the mechanical strength of OSRs, has resulted in a chemical process which can increase the glass strength to more than four times its untreated value. This product improvement, in parallel with new automated test equipment for proving the strength of each reflector, should dramatically reduce the numbers damaged during assembly processes and hence provide considerable cost savings.