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PAssive Thermal Coating Observatory Operating in Low Earth Orbit (PATCOOL)The PATCOOL is a NASA sponsored, University of Florida developed 3U CubeSat meant to investigate the feasibility of using a cryogenic selective surface coating as a new, more efficient way of passively cooling components in space. Initial tests on the ground demonstrate that this coating should provide a much higher reflectance of the Sun's irradiant power than any existing coating, while still providing far-infrared power emission. The ultimate validation of this technology requires on-orbit testing. PATCOOL hosts a 4-sample housing, with the samples shaped as thin cylinders (coin-like). Two samples are coated with state-of-the-art material, while the other pair uses the new coating to be evaluated. The temperatures of all samples during the mission (minimum 72 hours of data collection) are measured via thermistors. The samples are connected via thin Kevlar strings to the housing, to minimize heat transfer. The housing is designed to shield the samples from Earth's thermal radiation, and the CubeSat is attitude stabilized and controlled via a gravity gradient boom, magnetorquers and a reaction wheel set. Thermal Desktop simulations show PATCOOL's ability to thermally isolate the samples from heat exchanges other than with Sun and deep space, thanks to its thermal design and the chosen attitude profile
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Ojeda, Carlos
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Martin, Tanya
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Omar, Sanny
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Kennedy, Michael
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Paz, Brandon
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Bevilacqua, Riccardo
(Florida Univ. Gainesville, FL, United States)
Marsell, Brandon
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
January 31, 2020
Publication Date
January 29, 2020
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: IAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and CubeSat Workshop
Location: Rome
Country: Italy
Start Date: January 28, 2020
End Date: January 31, 2020
Sponsors: International Academy of Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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