Design and Fabrication of a Passive Deployable/Stowable Radiator
A lightweight 100 W-class deployable radiator with environment-adaptive functions has been investigated. This radiator - Reversible Thermal Panel (RTP) - is composed of flexible high thermal conductive materials and a passive reversible actuator, and it changes its function from a radiator to a solar absorber by deploying/stowing the reversible fin upon changes in the heat dissipation and thermal environment. The RTP is considered one of the candidates of thermal control methodology for the Japanese Venus mission “Planet-C”, which will be launched in 2010 to save its survival heater power. In this paper, design and fabrication of the RTP proto-model (PM) and the test results of deployment/stowing characteristics in an atmospheric condition are reported. Thermal performance estimation with thermal analytical model of the RTP PM is also presented.