Abstract

Thermal baseplates are sized to limit high temperature excursions when spacecraft electronics modules are generating peak thermal loads. Because of the resulting relatively high nominal conductivity, at low thermal loads makeup heat is required to maintain acceptable temperatures, adding weight associated with batteries, heaters, and thermal control. Thermal switches are systems that are capable of switching between high and low effective conductivity. Such systems have been used to eliminate the need for makeup heaters; however, because these systems are electronically driven they add weight in the form of batteries and thermal control. Contact-aided Cellular Compliant Mechanisms (C3M) employ internal contact mechanisms to enable high effective strains in response to mechanical loads. When active, these contacts also introduce new thermal conductive pathways and, using multiple materials, provide a novel avenue to passive thermal control. This paper is concerned with the development of a structure that exhibits effective variable thermal conductivity through its thickness. The proposed concept consists of compliant cells that deform in response to a temperature gradient, alternately creating and breaking heat conduction paths. Initial results indicate that multiple-material C3M devices have the potential to create a large switch ratio between high-conductivity and low-conductivity modes. Complex heat paths through the geometry help to increase thermal resistance for the low-conductivity mode and generate higher thermal deformation at targeted points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Event23rd International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies, ICAST 2012 - Nanjing, China
Duration: Oct 11 2012Oct 13 2012

Other

Other23rd International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies, ICAST 2012
CountryChina
CityNanjing
Period10/11/1210/13/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Building and Construction

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  • Cite this

    Stavely, R. L., Lesieutre, G. A., Frecker, M., & Adair, J. H. (2012). Variable thermal conductivity, contact-aided cellular structures for spacecraft thermal control. Paper presented at 23rd International Conference on Adaptive Structures and Technologies, ICAST 2012, Nanjing, China.