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Comparison of reusable insulation systems for cryogenically-tanked earth-based space vehiclesThree reusable insulation systems concepts have been developed for use with cryogenic tanks of earth-based space vehicles. Two concepts utilized double-goldized Kapton (DGK) or double-aluminized Mylar (DAM) multilayer insulation (MLI), while the third utilized a hollow-glass-microsphere, load-bearing insulation (LBI). All three insulation systems have recently undergone experimental testing and evaluation under NASA-sponsored programs. Thermal performance measurements were made under space-hold (vacuum) conditions for insulation warm boundary temperatures of approximately 291 K. The resulting effective thermal conductivity was approximately .00008 W/m-K for the MLI systems (liquid hydrogen test results) and .00054 W/m-K for the LBI system (liquid nitrogen test results corrected to liquid hydrogen temperature). The DGK MLI system experienced a maximum thermal degradation of 38 percent, the DAM MLI system 14 percent, and the LBI system 6.7 percent due to repeated thermal cycling representing typical space flight conditions. Repeated exposure of the DAM MLI system to a high humidity environment for periods as long as 8 weeks provided a maximum degradation of only 24 percent.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sumner, I. E.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Barber, J. R.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, Ohio, United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1978
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Thermophysics and Heat Transfer Conference
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Start Date: May 24, 1978
End Date: May 26, 1978
Sponsors: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Accession Number
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