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Spacecraft thermal balance testing using infrared sourcesA thermal balance test (controlled flux intensity) on a simple black dummy spacecraft using IR lamps was performed and evaluated, the latter being aimed specifically at thermal mathematical model (TMM) verification. For reference purposes the model was also subjected to a solar simulation test (SST). The results show that the temperature distributions measured during IR testing for two different model attitudes under steady state conditions are reproducible with a TMM. The TMM test data correlation is not as accurate for IRT as for SST. Using the standard deviation of the temperature difference distribution (analysis minus test) the SST data correlation is better by a factor of 1.8 to 2.5. The lower figure applies to the measured and the higher to the computer-generated IR flux intensity distribution. Techniques of lamp power control are presented. A continuing work program is described which is aimed at quantifying the differences between solar simulation and infrared techniques for a model representing the thermal radiating surfaces of a large communications spacecraft.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Tan, G. B. T. (European Space Agency. European Space Research and Technology Center ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands)
Walker, J. B. (European Space Agency. European Space Research and Technology Center ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands)
Date Acquired
August 10, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1982
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center 12th Space Simulation Conf.
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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