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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Integrated Composite - Heatpipe Radiator Panel, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Integrated Composite - Heatpipe Radiator Panel, Phase I
A major objective of the NASA science spacecraft systems development programs is to implement science measurement capabilities using small affordable spacecrafts. High conductivity materials to minimize temperature gradients and provide high efficiency radiators and heat spreader panels are required to meet this objective. Under this proposed effort, kTC will develop a high performance thermal distribution panel (TDP) concept. The panel will be fabricated with a high conductivity macro composite skin and in situ heat pipes. The processing technologies proposed to build such a panel can also be used to produce this panel with high structural stiffness, similar to aluminum honeycomb type structure currently in use. This advanced TDP material concept will have high conductance the will obviate the need for attached bulky metal thermal doublers and heat pipe saddles. The conductivity of the proposed material system can be configured to exceed 800 W/mK with a mass density below 2.5 g/cm3. This material can provide efficient conductive heat transfer between the in situ heat pipes permitting the use of thinner panel thicknesses further reducing the mass of this critical spacecraft subsystem. This concept will also obviate reliability challenges due to CTE mismatch between structures and the heat pipes. In the Phase I program, kTC will produce prototypes employing the proposed TDP concept. In Phase II, in conjunction with kTC's Tier I team members, the qualification and integration of the concept into spaceflight hardware will be pursued. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.