1993-07-01

Design and Test of a Honeycomb Radiator Panel with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic Facesheets and Aluminium Heat Pipes 932302

The use of carbon fiber reinforced composite materials in unit-carrying satellite radiator panels was studied. Different panel architectures and component materials were identified.
The mass-specific heat rejection capability of the most promising of these configurations was analytically determined for different heat loads having either the stiffness or the strength of a reference configuration.
The analytical results clearly define the optimum panel configuration under the different structural and thermal requirements. The panel configuration consisting of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) facesheets, aluminium honeycomb core and top-mounted aluminium heatpipes was found to be superior in a wide range of requirements and therefore selected as a reference concept. A flexible adhesive was used as the thermal interface between both components having significantly different thermal expansion coefficients.
A representative technology demonstration panel was designed, manufactured and tested w.r.t. heat transfer capability and structural integrity under temperature cycling. The panel performed well under nominal load and cycling, but the adhesive was found to be sensitive against manufacturing inacurracies and excessive loads.
The paper describes the material & architecture trade-off, and the design, manufacturing and testing of the technology demonstration panel.

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