1994-06-01

Thermal Analysis of the Inflatable Torus Solar Array Technology 941434

The purpose of the Inflatable Torus Solar Array Technology (ITSAT) Demonstration Program is to develop the technology required to fly an inflatable solar array. As a first step to this development a preliminary thermodynamic and thermal finite element (FE) analysis was conducted. A detailed thermal and thermodynamic analysis was required in order to fully understand the thermal response and characteristics of the structure; and, how the quantity of gas required to inflate the structural support tubes will be effected. Results from the thermal analysis indicate that during deployment, which may last up to 2 minutes, the loss of internal energy of the gas and the loss of thermal energy of the structure may impede proper inflation of the tubes and thus result in deployment failure.

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