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The Solar Orbiter Thermal Design

The Solar Orbiter Thermal Design

Publication date: 10 November 2005

Authors: A. Lyngvi et al.

Journal: IAC
Year: 2005

The Solar Orbiter mission is part of ESA's science program, Cosmic Vision 2020. It will explore the innermost regions of the heliosphere from high heliopsheric latitudes. From a distance of about 0.23AU and a max inclination of about 35 degrees with respect to the Sun's equator the Solar Orbiter will perform high resolution imagery of the sun and in-situ measurements of the heliosphere. At its closest distance to the Sun the spacecraft will experience a sun flux of approximately 28000W/m2. To protect the spacecraft bus from this flux a sun shield is used. The shield requires innovative design and materials in order to keep both the radiated and conducted heat to a minimum. Additionally, all sun exposed elements such as the high gain antenna and the solar arrays need to be designed for surviving the intense sun flux. This paper will outline the work done on the Solar Orbiter thermal design during its assessment phase. A description of the technical challenges for the overall thermal control system will be given and some of the trade-offs will be discussed. Furthermore, a feasible heat shield design will be presented together with current solutions towards test and verification of the overall system.

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