Advanced Thermal Control Coatings for Use in Low Earth Orbit
A method for applying an organic coating to Z-93, an inorganic white thermal control paint, was developed to protect Z-93 from contamination and damage. A layer of FEP Teflon™ was applied over Z-93 to provide a smooth, continuous surface without adversely affecting its optical properties. Additionally, new low-absorptance, controlled-emittance thermal control paints were developed for low Earth orbit (LEO) applications, such as the International Space Station. These paints have a range of infrared emittances from 0.26 to 0.88, and are stable in simulated LEO environments, including atomic oxygen and ultraviolet radiation. Patent applications have been submitted for these concepts.