Thermal Performance of the Radiator Advanced Demonstrator
Space suits for advanced missions have baselined radiators as the primary means of heat rejection in order to minimize consumables and logistics requirements. While radiators have been used in the active thermal control system for spacecraft since Gemini, the use of radiators in spacesuits introduces many unique requirements. These include the ability to reduce the amount of heat rejection when overcooling or overheating of the crew member is a concern. Overcooling can occur with low metabolic rates, cold environments or a combination of the two, and overheating can occur with high metabolic rates in a warm environment. The main goal of the Radiator Advanced Demonstrator (RAD) program is to build and fly a radiator on the current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) in order to verify thermal performance capabilities in actual flight conditions. The RAD incorporates an aluminum plate separated from the primary water panel with a silicone gasket.