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  • 7:19 PM, Monday, 18 Oct 2021

Course Postgraduate
Semester Electives
Subject Code AE839
Subject Title Spacecraft Thermal Control


Introduction Spacecraft Thermal Control: need of spacecraft thermal control – temperature specification – energy balance in a spacecraft – modes of heat transfer – factors that influence energy balance in a spacecraft – principles of spacecraft thermal control.


Spacecraft Thermal Analysis: formulation of energy – momentum and continuity equations for problems in spacecraft heat transfer – development of discretized equation – treatment of radiative heat exchange (for non-participative media based on radiosity and Gebhart method) – incorporation of environmental heat flux in energy equation – numerical solution methods – input parameters required for analysis.


Spacecraft Thermal Environments: launch and ascent – earth bound orbits – interplanetary mission and reentry mission


Devices and Hardware for Spacecraft TCS (Principles & Operation): passive thermal control - mechanical joints – heat sinks and doublers – phase change materials – thermal louvers and switches – heat pipes – thermal coating materials – thermal insulation – ablative heat transfer – active thermal control techniques: electrical heaters, HPR fluid systems, space borne cooling systems.


Design and Analysis of Spacecraft: application of principles described above for development of spacecraft TCS.

Text Books

1. Gilmore, D. G. (Ed.), Spacecraft Thermal Control Handbook, Volume I: Fundamental Technologies, 2nd ed., The Aerospace Press, AIAA (2002).

2. Lyle, R., Stabekis, P. and Stroud, R, Spacecraft thermal control, NASA SP 8105 (1973).

3. Fortescue, P., Swinerd, G. and Stark, J. eds, Spacecraft systems engineering,7th ed., John Wiley (2011).

4. Mayer, R. X., Elements of Space Technology, Academic Press (1999).