A Summary of the Cassini Thermal Development Test Program 961576
The Cassini spacecraft, NASA's mission to investigate the Saturn system, has undergone an extensive thermal development test program to characterize subsystem thermal control designs. In the interest of cost and schedule, not every subsystem was subjected to thermal development testing.
The majority of the testing demonstrated that the required system resources such as heater power were adequate. In the instances of the stowed magnetometer boom canister, the sun sensor head assembly, the Huygens Probe receiver front-end, the thruster cluster assembly, and radar science instrument, unexpected thermal design inadequacies were uncovered, but these problems were solved without a significant impact to system resources or thermal design robustness. Additionally, a self-regulating non-electrical
heater, a radiant energy transport method, and a reverse louver were successfully demonstrated.