Thermal management approaches for large planar phased array space antennas

Jonas, Fred M.
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p815
Academic Journal
Large planar phased array antennas proposed for future space system applications in LEO offer unique challenges relative to the efficient management and control of thermal energy. Because of their proposed size, 100’s of square meters, these antennas end up being excellent thermal radiators that must be kept warm enough to operate when needed in eclipse, but will most likely need to dump energy in full sunlight. Also, these antenna designs tend to be ultra-lightweight (low mass areal densities) which means that any proposed method of thermal control will not have any inherent system mass to work with in the basic antenna design. And, any proposed thermal management and control approach cannot add significant mass or power to the already tight electro-mechanical design power and mass goals for these future antennas. These opposing constraints mean that more traditional thermal management and control approaches such as heaters, heat pipes, and MLI may not be directly applicable to these antenna designs because of size, weight and/or power restrictions. This paper presents the results of a 1-D thermal model for examining the effects of proposed new thermal management approaches, such as variable emissivity coatings, on the expected thermal performance of proposed antenna concepts. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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