NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Guidelines for the Selection of Near-Earth Thermal Environment Parameters for Spacecraft DesignThermal analysis and design of Earth orbiting systems requires specification of three environmental thermal parameters: the direct solar irradiance, Earth's local albedo, and outgoing longwave radiance (OLR). In the early 1990s data sets from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment were analyzed on behalf of the Space Station Program to provide an accurate description of these parameters as a function of averaging time along the orbital path. This information, documented in SSP 30425 and, in more generic form in NASA/TM-4527, enabled the specification of the proper thermal parameters for systems of various thermal response time constants. However, working with the engineering community and SSP-30425 and TM-4527 products over a number of years revealed difficulties in interpretation and application of this material. For this reason it was decided to develop this guidelines document to help resolve these issues of practical application. In the process, the data were extensively reprocessed and a new computer code, the Simple Thermal Environment Model (STEM) was developed to simplify the process of selecting the parameters for input into extreme hot and cold thermal analyses and design specifications. In the process, greatly improved values for the cold case OLR values for high inclination orbits were derived. Thermal parameters for satellites in low, medium, and high inclination low-Earth orbit and with various system thermal time constraints are recommended for analysis of extreme hot and cold conditions. Practical information as to the interpretation and application of the information and an introduction to the STEM are included. Complete documentation for STEM is found in the user's manual, in preparation.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Anderson, B. J.
(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Justus, C. G.
(Computer Sciences Corp. Huntsville, AL United States)
Batts, G. W.
(Computer Sciences Corp. Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2001
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:211221
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available