DEVELOPMENT AND ANALYSIS OF THE THERMAL DESIGN FOR THE OSIRIS-3U CUBESAT

Open Access
Author:
Garzon, Maria M
Graduate Program:
Aerospace Engineering
Degree:
Master of Engineering
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
May 25, 2012
Committee Members:
  • Sven G Bilen, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • CubeSat
  • OSIRIS-3U
  • Thermal Design
Abstract:
Proper spacecraft thermal design ensures spacecraft reliability despite the variations in its environment that it will encounter, such as heat inputs from the Sun and Earth, and the influence of full sun-lit and eclipse phases. This project entails the research and development of the thermal controls design for the Orbital Satellite for Investigating the Response of the Ionosphere to Stimulation and Space Weather (OSIRIS-3U), being developed by The Pennsylvania State University’s Student Space Programs Laboratory. An understanding of the thermal environment expected for OSIRIS-3U is discussed in detail and expected worst case orbital scenarios are described. In addition, analytical calculations of the thermal balance are presented along with FEA thermal models produced in COMSOL Multiphysics for determining the worst case temperature limits that OSIRIS-3U can expect during its mission. The results obtained reveal analytical steady-state temperature limits between +113 ℃ and -56 ℃. Time-dependent computer FEA models show that the CubeSat can reach temperatures between +29 ℃ and -12 ℃ for worst-case cold, and +109 ℃ and -4.4 ℃ for worst-case hot. These results served as a basis for the development of an Independently Operating Thermal Control for OSIRIS-3U. Furthermore, a theoretical understanding and analytical study of different types of Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs) for energy harvesting applications in CubeSats was performed. The results indicate that thin-film TEG devices deliver higher power density compared to traditional TEGs, but due to the low temperature gradient expected in a CubeSat, the efficiency of these devices falls below 1%. Hence, with mass and cost constraints on CubeSats, current TEG technology for use in this application does not appear viable.