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Reliable, fast, and flexible: A thermal modeling approach for small satellites

: Gulde, Max; Montemayor Mancías, Javier; Genova, Christopher de; Schimmerohn, Martin; Schäfer, Frank

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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics -AIAA-, Washington/D.C.; Utah State University -USU-, Logan/Utah:
32nd Annual AIAA/USU Small Satellite Conference 2018. Online resource : Logan, Utah, August 6-9, 2018
Logan/Utah, 2018
5 S.
Small Satellite Conference <32, 2018, Logan/Utah>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer EMI ()

The ongoing revolution of space access by means of cost-effective and highly performant small satellites, in particular CubeSats, drives the development of a vast host of new and increasingly complex applications. However, the use of small satellites for ambitious missions brings its own challenges with thermal breakdown as one of the key contributors to component failure. We have therefore developed a lightweight approach specifically tailored to the thermal modeling of small satellites to localize and mitigate the associated thermal risks while maintaining the flexibility and low resource footprint necessary to be applicable in the framework of small satellite mission design. At the core of the methodology, we implemented an experimental database of physical parameters as well as highly parallelized numerical analysis methods. In particular, we introduce an efficient way to determine view factors for insolation and internal radiative energy transport based on a hemicube radiosity algorithm. The results agree within 1 K with commercially available modeling software and allow us to perform highly reliable temperature predictions while conserving the flexible and cost-efficient spirit of small satellite missions.