RADARSAT-2 Thermal Design
This paper describes the thermal design and analysis of RADARSAT-2, a commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite for earth observation. The particular thermal design challenges faced by RADARSAT-2 are the continually varying thermal environment imposed by its dawn-dusk, sun-synchronous orbit and the wide range of operational capabilities of the SAR payload. The SAR antenna is a 15m active array design that incorporates 512 transmit/receive (T/R) modules distributed throughout the antenna panels. The thermal environment for these high-dissipation units must be maintained throughout the various mission configurations. The Bus and the Extendable Support Structure (ESS) which deploys and supports the SAR antenna must provide a thermoelastically stable platform from which to mount the SAR antenna as well as the attitude sensors.