Multi-function Tuneable Emittance Smart Coatings for Thermal Control in Harsh Space Environment
MPB has developed advanced smart radiator devices (SRDs) for passive, dynamic thermal control of space structures and payloads. The SRDs employ a nano-engineered, integrated thin-film structure based on V1-x-yMxNyOn. Dopants, M and N, tailor the transition temperature characteristics of the tuneable IR emittance. This paper describes the progress in MPB's smart thermal radiator towards its validation as an efficient thermal control device for space environment. A set of environmental tests were performed in order to validate the coating resistance and performance stability in space. The tests included random vibration, thermal shock, and accelerated aging. In addition, the thermo-optic characteristics after exposure to Atomic Oxygen (AO) in a simulated LEO environment were similar to the “as deposited” characteristics. Preliminary radiation tests, comparable to 3 years in a GEO environment, indicate very low change in emissivity and solar absorptance relative to the initial values.