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International Heat Transfer Conference 15

ISSN: 2377-424X (online)
ISSN: 2377-4371 (flashdrive)

Heat Transfer in Vacuum Thermal Insulation of Space Vehicles: An Experimental Estimate vs Theoretical Prediction




Aleksey V. Nenarokomov
Department of Space System Engineering, Moscow Aviation Institute (Aerospace University), Volokolamskoe Shosse 4, Moscow 125993, Russia

Leonid A. Dombrovsky
Joint Institute for High Temperatures, 17A Krasnokazarmennaya Str., Moscow, 111116, Russia; Tyumen State University, 6 Volodarsky Str., Tyumen, 625003, Russia

Irina V. Krainova
Moscow Aviation Institute (Aerospace University), Volokolamskoe Shosse 4, Moscow 125993, Russia

Oleg M. Alifanov
Moscow Aviation Institute (Aerospace University), Volokolamskoe Shosse 4, Moscow 125993, Russia

Sergey A. Budnik
Moscow Aviation Institute (Aerospace University), Volokolamskoe Shosse 4, Moscow 125993, Russia

DOI: 10.1615/IHTC15.rad.009822
pages 7237-7250


KEY WORDS: Radiation, Thermal insulation, Computational methods, Fibrous spacer, Space vehicle, Vacuum experiment

Abstract

The study is motivated by necessity to confirm or disprove the main assumption of a theoretical model developed recently by the authors. The theoretical model is based on neglecting possible near-field effects in heat transfer between closely spaced aluminum foils used in the multilayer vacuum thermal insulation (MLI) of modern high-weight spacecrafts. Highly porous fibrous spacers prevent a direct contact between the aluminum screens but the thickness of these spacers is very small and do not exclude the near-field interaction. It is well known that a special feature of the near-field heat transfer is a great increase in heat flux between two metal layers. An expected increase in heat flux in several orders of magnitude due to near-field electromagnetic interaction makes justified the use of an experimental procedure which is not very accurate but gives an estimate of the heat flux through the MLI in a thermo-vacuum installation used to model the space conditions. A sample of real MLI of the BP-Colombo satellite (ESA) is used in the laboratory experiments. A comparison of the computational results and the experimental data confirms that there are no significant near-field effects in MLI in the space vacuum and there is no contradiction between the previously developed far-field model of radiative transfer in MLI and the experimental estimates.

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