Solar Probe thermal shield design and testingThis paper discusses the major thermal shield subsystem development activities in support of the Solar Probe study being conducted at JPL. The Solar Probe spacecraft will travel to within 4 solar radii of the sun's center to perform fundamental experiments in space physics. Exposure to 2900 earth suns at perihelion requires the spacecraft to be protected within the shadow envelope of a protective shield. In addition, the mass loss rate off of the shield at elevated temperature must comply with plasma instrument requirements and has become the driver of the shield design. This paper will focus on the analytical design work to size the shield and control the shield mass loss rate for the various spacecraft options under study, the application of carbon-carbon materials for shield components, development and preparation of carbon-carbon samples for materials testing, and a materials testing program for carbon-carbon and tungsten alloys to investigate thermal/optical properties, mass loss (carbon-carbon only), material integrity, and high velocity impact behavior.
Millard, Jerry M. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Miyake, Robert N. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Rainen, Richard A. (JPL Pasadena, CA, United States)