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High Turndown Ratio, High Delta-Emittance, Variable Emissivity Electrochromics, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Among thermal control methods, variable-emittance materials remain the most promising for addressing deficiencies of current systems (mechanical louvers, loop heat pipes, MEMS, electrostatics, phase change materials, others), especially, e.g., for missions in extreme light/dark environments, planetary platforms. This firm's unique, patented variable-emittance skin technology, based on conducting polymers, microporous membranes and ionic liquids, with proven, space-environment performance, remains at the world forefront, with highest known Delta-emittance, good Turn-Down Ratio (TDR), very low power, low cost. Phase I work demonstrated separate emittance variation from 0.065 to 0.816, Delta-emittance > 0.48, and long-term space durability, with one "breakthrough" innovation, two very significant innovations. A clear, specific pathway was demonstrated for combining low/high emittance in single devices to achieve TDR of 7.1, possibly 10.0. Phase II work will use this as basis to increase the TDR to > 7.1, possibly > 10.0, keeping the dark-state emittance ca. >/= 0.80. Surface Solar Absorptance will be further reduced from present ca. 0.31 to as low as possible (objective 0.09 to 0.24). Other Phase II tasks, following completion of TDR optimization, will address Controller, further space-qualification testing, manufacture, space-flights, commercialization pathway, other issues. Two identified commercial partners will assist in marketing. More »

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