Innovative Thermal Management Concepts and Material Solutions for Future Space Vehicles

Esser, Burkard
Barcena, Jorge
Kuhn, Markus
Okan, Altug
Haynes, Lauren
Gianella, Sandro
Ortona, Alberto
Liedtke, Volker
Francesconi, Daniele
Tanno, Hideyuki
When entering a planetary atmosphere, space vehicles are exposed to extreme thermal loads. To protect the vehicle's interior, a thermal protection system is required. Future aerospace transportation demands solutions that exceed the performance of current systems and up-to-date material limits. Therefore, new and disruptive solutions must be envisaged to meet those extreme conditions. In the search of new solutions for sharp leading edges of future hypersonic reentry or transport vehicles, the THOR project, composed of eight European organizations (industries, research centers, and universities) and one Japanese Agency (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), is actively working on definition, design, implementation, and simulation of new passive and active thermal management solutions and their verification in relevant environments (high-enthalpy facilities). This paper provides an overview of the recent developments on the four concepts that are targeted in the project, applying different physical methodologies: 1) passive cooling using highly conductive carbon-based fibers, 2) passive cooling with intensive internal radiative exchange, 3) active cooling based on convection heat transfer using a ceramic sandwich/thermal protection system with ceramic foams/lattices, and 4) active transpiration cooling of external surfaces. Details on these thermal management concepts, requirements from end users, and test configurations, as well as results from experimental and numerical verification, are given.


Design of an irradiation test facility for space applications
Kızılören, Dilek; Demirköz, Melahat Bilge; Department of Physics (2014)
Space radiation damages electronic components of spacecraft. Damages are due to cosmic rays which consist of protons, photons, electrons, and heavy nuclei. Function- ality and performance of the electronic components in flight depend on the orbital pa- rameters of spacecrafts and exposure time. The space radiation causes three types of effects and these are categorized as Single Event Effects (SEEs), Total Ionizing Dose (TID) Effects and Non-Ionizing Dose Displacement Damage Effects. Radiation hard- ness ass...
Development of a Material Response Solver for Charring Ablative Materials
Coşkun, Volkan; Sert, Cüneyt; Acar, Bülent (2019-06-14)
Development of a solver in order to estimate the material response of charring ablative materials which are utilized as thermal protection systems in space vehicles is presented. First, the governing equations for modeling transient thermal response of charring ablative materials and the adopted numerical solution schemes are reviewed. The governing equations include energy balance, pyrolysis kinetics and mass balance. Solution of the governing equations in conjunction with appropriate boundary condi...
Optical design of a thermal infrared imager for a micro-satellite
Salçın, Esen; Esendemir, Akif; Department of Physics (2006)
Space-based infrared Earth observation systems provide a unique opportunity for the detection of thermal variations on Earth’s surface or atmosphere. The objective of this study is to propose an optical design of a thermal imager that is suitable for flight on a micro-satellite platform at an altitude of 650 km, providing the necessary resolution requirements under the considerations of physical boundaries of the given platform. Before the optical design, the parameters which would strictly bound the optica...
Numerical Validation of a Pyroshock Test System and Application to Qualification Tests
Yalçınkaya, Tuncay; Gursoy, Bahadir (2022-08-01)
Spacecraft are exposed to severe mechanical loads, i.e., shock loads, during their journey to orbit. Such loads usually develop due to a separation event through the activation of pyrotechnic devices. They might be transmitted throughout the entire structure and strongly influence the service performance of electronic components. Therefore, it is crucial to study whether the instruments can resist such a harsh environment. However, due to the vulnerability and high cost of the equipment, experimental setups...
Atas, Omer; Tekinalp, Ozan (2017-02-09)
Propelling a spacecraft by using solar radiation pressure is examined in the context of orbital maneuvers. A locally optimal steering law to progressively change number of selected orbital elements together is addressed. An Earth centered cubesat satellite with solar sail is used as an example. The proper attitude maneuver mechanization is proposed to harvest highest solar radiation force in the desired direction for Earth orbiting satellites. The satellite attitude control is realized using to-go quaternio...
Citation Formats
B. Esser et al., “Innovative Thermal Management Concepts and Material Solutions for Future Space Vehicles,” JOURNAL OF SPACECRAFT AND ROCKETS, pp. 1051–1060, 2016, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: