The Thermal Control of TDF-1- the First Six Months in Orbit 891523

The direct broadcasting television satellite TDF-1 has been launched on October 28th, 1988, by ARIANE flight V 26 from KOUROU, French Guyana.
After the successful on orbit tests, the five television channels have been activated on the 15th of November.
One of the key features of this satellite consists in the sophisticated design of the heat pipe network used for the thermal control of the telecommunication payload. This network is composed of 86 constant conductance heat pipes of different diameters, corresponding to a total cumulative length of about 120 meters, and arranged along the three axes of the spacecraft body.
The paper describes the thermal control design of this satellite and summarizes the development plan selected in connection with the constraints linked with the heat pipe utilisation.
The second part is an overview of the in-orbit performance of the thermal control system during the first Month of operational utilisation.


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