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Spacecraft Thermal Control - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781845699963, 9780857096081

Spacecraft Thermal Control

1st Edition

Authors: J Meseguer I Pérez-Grande A Sanz-Andrés
Hardcover ISBN: 9781845699963
eBook ISBN: 9780857096081
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 6th August 2012
Page Count: 412
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Thermal control systems are an essential element of spacecraft design, ensuring that all parts of the spacecraft remain within acceptable temperature ranges at all times. Spacecraft thermal control describes the fundamentals of thermal control design and reviews current thermal control technologies. The book begins with an overview of space missions and a description of the space environment, followed by coverage of the heat transfer processes relevant to the field. In the third part of the book, current thermal control technologies are described, and in the final part, design, analysis and testing techniques are reviewed.

Key Features

  • Provides background on the fundamentals of heat transfer which gives the reader a better understanding of the phenomenon and the way Space Thermal Control Systems work
  • Merges the experience of the authors in teaching aerospace engineering topics with the experience as compilers of the ‘Spacecraft Thermal Control Design Data Handbook’ of the European Space Agency and the development of in orbit thermal control systems for Spanish and ESA Missions
  • The engineering approach is enhanced with a full section on Thermal Control Design, Analysis and Testing


Space engineers, national and regional agencies charged with thermal analysis control and methodologies; mechanical engineers and instrument manufacturers assessing the effects of space environment on materials.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables


About the authors

Chapter 1: The space mission


1.1 Introduction

1.2 Mission analysis and design

1.3 Elements of a space mission

1.4 Types of space missions

1.5 Spacecraft design: subsystems and payloads

Chapter 2: Space environment


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Ground environment

2.3 Launch thermal environment

2.4 In-orbit thermal environment

2.5 Other in-orbit environmental aspects

Chapter 3: Keplerian orbits


3.1 One-body problem

3.2 The orbit in space

3.3 Orbit perturbations

3.4 Lighting conditions

3.5 Types of orbits

Chapter 4: Conductive heat transfer


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Fourier’s law

4.3 The heat diffusion equation

4.4 Boundary and initial conditions

4.5 Conductive shape factors

4.6 Numerical methods in heat conduction

Chapter 5: Thermal radiation heat transfer


5.1 Nature of thermal radiation

5.2 Blackbody radiation

5.3 Properties of real surfaces

5.4 View factors

5.5 Radiation exchange between opaque, diffuse, and grey surfaces in an enclosure

Chapter 6: Thermal control surfaces


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Thermal control coatings

6.3 Thermal coating degradation

Chapter 7: Insulation systems


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Multilayer insulations

7.3 Foams

Chapter 8: Radiators


8.1 Introduction

8.2 Passive cryogenic radiant coolers

8.3 Thermal efficiency

8.4 V-groove radiators

Chapter 9: Louvers


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Description of louvers

9.3 Performance of louvers

9.4 MEMS louvers

Chapter 10: Mechanical interfaces


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Thermal contact conductance

10.3 Thermal fillers

10.4 Thermal braids and straps

Chapter 11: Heat pipes


11.1 Introduction

11.2 Capillarity

11.3 Working fluids

11.4 Wicks

11.5 Other capillary heat transfer designs

Chapter 12: Phase change capacitors


12.1 Introduction

12.2 Characteristics of phase change materials

12.3 Materials data

12.4 Phase change material technology

12.5 The performance of phase change materials

Chapter 13: Heaters


13.1 Introduction

13.2 Electrical heaters

13.3 Radioisotope heat sources

13.4 Heat switches

Chapter 14: Pumped fluid loops


14.1 Introduction

14.2 Mechanically pumped single-phase fluid loops

14.3 Mechanically pumped two-phase fluid loops

Chapter 15: Thermoelectric cooling


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Fundamentals

15.3 Space applications

Chapter 16: Cryogenic systems


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Refrigerating systems

Chapter 17: Thermal protection systems


17.1 Introduction

17.2 Ablative systems

17.3 Radiative systems

17.4 Other thermal protection techniques

Chapter 18: Thermal control design


18.1 Design objectives and requirements

18.2 Design process

18.3 Load cases

Chapter 19: Thermal mathematical models


19.1 Introduction

19.2 Thermal analysis software

Chapter 20: Thermal control testing


20.1 Introduction

20.2 Testing objectives

20.3 Model philosophy

20.4 Development tests

20.5 Thermal balance tests

20.6 Thermal vacuum tests

20.7 Test facilities

Chapter 21: Conclusion



No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2012
6th August 2012
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Authors

J Meseguer

Professor José Meseguer is a Full Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), and the Director of IDR/UPM, an Institute of UPM for Aerospace Research and Development activities; he has worked in several ESA/ESTEC contracts on thermal control (Spacecraft Thermal Control Design Data Handbook).

I Pérez-Grande

Dr Isabel Pérez-Grande is Associate Professor of Thermodynamics at UPM, and the Head of the Thermal Control Division of IDR/UPM. She was responsible for the thermal control design and testing of the satellite UPM-Sat 1, as well as the thermal control of several instruments for ESA missions.

A Sanz-Andrés

Professor Angel Sanz-Andrés was the technical director of the satellite UPM-Sat 1, and is Full Professor of Aerospace Engineering at UPM; he is advisor in thermal and structural design in the development of several scientific space instruments. Member of the European Space Agency (ESA) “Physical Science Working Group” (PSWG).

Affiliations and Expertise

Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain


"...a very readable book, which does not assume much in the way of prior knowledge and provides numerous useful examples. All the key areas are covered, with a level of technical detail that is comprehensive without being overwhelming."--The Aeronautical Journal, February 2015

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