Thermal management and control of space satellite systems and subsystems in orbit

Van Wyk, Peter Arnold (2002-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The focus of this thesis is on South Africa's first micro space satellite SUNSAT, and the thermal modelling thereof. Background theory with relevance to thermal management and control of satellite systems and subsystems is presented. The mission profile and subsystem makeup of SUNSAT is also briefly discussed, with emphasis placed on the physical structure, possible orbit paths, internal heat generation, and the environmental heating. The environmental heating on the satellite surfaces from the direct and reflected earth solar radiation, as well as the earth emitted infrared radiation, is determined from the developed computer program ORBIT-FLUX. This program was used in tandem with numerical programs (developed in house), as well as an outsourced program TAS (Thermal Analysis Systems) to model SUNSAT for two possible orbit paths. The resistance-capacitance formulation method was used to develop the numerical programs, which served initially to establish the validity ofTAS. The first approximated thermal model of SUNSA T's batteries was the 7 lumped-mass model that focused on the batteries since their overheating is the suspected reason for SUNSA T'S failure to complete its mission. A numerical program as well as a similar TAS model was developed, and the results showed correlation to within 3°C. A lumped-mass model of SUNSAT was also developed, both numerically and using TAS. The models were tested and the results showed that the temperatures of the models were sensitive to changes in internal heating as well as varying emissivity and absorptivity. The numerical and TAS lumped-mass model results did not correlate well, possibly due to the higher number of control volumes used in the TAS lumped-mass model. The TAS SUNSAT 2 model was developed as advancement on the lumped-mass model. The higher number of control volumes and the effect of adding solar panels gave a more realistic model of SUNSA T. The results did not show good correlation with actual SUNSA T temperature data possibly due to the fact that the solar panels were not mounted on the model body as they were on SUNSA T; but the TAS SUNSA T 2 model did set the platform for the more advanced TAS SUNSAT 3 model. This thermal model included the effects of the solar panel mountings, and had a higher number of control volumes, which gave a better physical representation of the SUNSAT subsystems. The model was tested for possible orbit paths of SUNSA T. The results showed excellent correlation to actual SUNSA T data. For the comparison of the TAS SUNSA T 3 model results with data from SUNSAT for July 1999 showed that the SUNSA T battery temperature was modelled to within 8°C. And for June 2000, this same comparison was to within 1°C. A thermal management and control case study was done on a simple system (which included a cubic box and an internal solid block with heat generation) to illustrate the effects of using various passive and active thermal control hardware to regulate temperatures. The results showed that internal surfaces painted black provide for maximum heat sharing, and lowest block temperatures. The block temperatures were found to be very sensitive to changes in the cube external optical surface properties. A slight increase in emissivity lowered the block temperature, while a slight increase in absorptivity increased the block temperature. Heat pipes were also found to lower the temperatures of the block and immediate subsystems by providing a path of low thermal resistance to the flow of heat from the block directly to the radiator. The effect of thermal insulation was also investigated. For the two materials (rubber and plastic) that were tested, it was noticed that although insulation material does give more thermal control and predictability over a subsystem by thermally isolating it from its environment, it can cause a subsystem that has heat generation to become too hot. Recommendations were made relating to future micro satellite thermal management and control with regard to; thermal modelling techniques, acquisition of tried software, positioning of temperature sensors for optimisation of thermal data, and the verification of optical surface properties by physical measurement.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis fokus op Suid-Afrika se eerste mikro ruimte satelliet, SUNSAT, en die termiese ontwikkeling daarvan. Agtergrond teorie met betrekking tot die termiese bestuur en kontrole van die satelliet-sisteme en subsisteme word aangebied. Die missie-profiel en die samestelling van die subsisteme word ook kortliks bespreek met die klem op die fisiese strukture, moontlike wentelbane, interne hitte-opwekking, en die omgewingsverhitting. Die omgewingsverhitting op die oppervlaktes van die satelliet, veroorsaak deur direkte en weerkaatste aardlson bestraling, sowel as deur infrarooi bestraling afkomstig van die aarde, word bepaal deur die ontwikkelde rekenaarprogram ORBIT-FLUX. Hierdie program word gebruik in tandem met numeriese programme (intern ontwikkel), so weI as 'n uitgekontrakteerde program TAS (Termiese Analiese Sisteme) om SUNS AT vir twee moontlike wentelbane te modelleer. Die weerstandskapasitansie formuleringsmetode is gebruik om die numeriese programme te ontwikkel. Hierdie programme is oorspronklik gebruik om die validiteit van TAS vas te stel. Die eerste benaderde termiese model van SUNSAT se batterye was die 7 gekonsentreerdemassa model wat gefokus het op die batterye aangesien daar vermoed is dat oorverhitting van die batterye die rede is waarom SUNSAT nie sy missie voltooi het nie. 'n Numeriese program so weI as 'n gelyksoortige TAS model is ontwikkel en die resultate korreleer tot binne 3°C. 'n Gekonsentreerde-massa model van SUNSA T is ook ontwikkel, numeries en met gebruik van TAS. Die modelle is getoets en die resultate toon dat die temperature van die modelle gevoelig is vir veranderinge in interne hitte sowel as vir wissellende uitstralingsvermoe en absorpsievermoe, Die numeriese- en die TAS gekonsentreerde-massa model resultate het nie goed met mekaar korrelleer nie, moontlik weens die hoe aantal kontrole volumes wat in die TAS gekonsentreerde-massa model gebruik is. Die TAS SUNSA T 2 model is 'n verdere ontwikkeling van die gekonsentreerde-massa model. Die hoer aantal kontrole volumes en die byvoeging van solarpanele het tot gevolg gehad dat hierdie 'n meer realistiese model van SUNSA T is. Die resultate het nie goed gekorrelleer met die temperatuurdata van die werklike SUNSAT nie, moontlik weens die feit dat die solarpanele nie op die bakwerk monteer is, soos in die geval van SUNSA T nie. Nietemin het het die TAS SUNSAT 2 model gelei tot die meer gevorderde TAS SUNSAT 3 model. Hierdie termiese model het die solarpaneel montuur ingesluit en het 'n hoer aantal kontrole volumes gehad, wat 'n beter fisiese weergawe van die SUNSAT subsisteme tot gevolg gehad het. Die model is getoets vir moontlike wentelbane van SUNSAT. Die resultate het 'n hoe korrellasie getoon met die data van die werklike SUNSAT. 'n Vergelyking van die TAS SUNSAT 3 model resultate met data van SUNSAT vir Julie 1999 wys dat die SUNSAT battery temperatuur dieselfde is tot binne 8°C. Vergelyk met die resultate vir Junie 2000 was dit binne 1°C. 'n Termiese bestuurs- en kontrolestudie is gedoen op 'n eenvoudige sisteem (insluitende 'n kubieke boks en 'n interne soliede blok met hitte opwekking) om die uitwerking van die gebruik van passiewe en aktiewe termiese kontrole hardeware wat temperature reguleer, te illustreer. Die resultate toon dat interne oppervlaktes wat swart geverf is, lei tot die maksimum hitte-deling, en die laagste bloktemperature. Daar is gevind dat bloktemperature baie gevoelig is vir veranderinge in die eienskappe van die kubus se eksterne optiese oppervlaktes. 'n Effense vermedering van uitstralingsvermoe verlaag die bloktemperatuur, terwyl 'n effense vermedering van absorpsievermoe die bloktemperatuur verhoog. Daar is ook gevind dat hittepype die temperatuur van die blok en onmiddelike subsisteme verlaag deur om 'n pad van lae termiese weerstand teen die vloei van hitte vanaf die blok, direk na die verkoeler te verskaf. Die uitwerking van termiese isolasie is ook ondersoek. In die geval van die twee materiale (rubber en plastiek) wat getoets is, is daar opgemerk dat, alhoewel isolasie materiaal meer termiese beheer oor die subsisteem en voorspelbaarheid tot gevolg gehad het deurdat die subsisteem termies van die omgewing isoleer is, kan dit veroorsaak dat die subsisteem te warm word. Aanbevelings is gemaak met betrekking tot toekomstige mikro satelliet bestuur en kontrole en wel in verband met die volgende: termiese modelleringstegnieke, die aanskaffing van getoetste sagteware, die plasing van temperatuut sensors vir die beste termiese data, en die verifikasie van die eienskappe van optiese oppervlaktes deur fisiese meting.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/49738
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