Spacecraft Thermal Control

Spacecraft Thermal Control

1st Edition - August 6, 2012

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  • Authors: J Meseguer, I Pérez-Grande, A Sanz-Andrés
  • eBook ISBN: 9780857096081

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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


Product details

  • No. of pages: 412
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Woodhead Publishing 2012
  • Published: August 6, 2012
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780857096081

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

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