2 April 2015 Simulating coupled thermal-mechanical interactions in morphing radiators
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Thermal control is an important aspect of every spacecraft. The thermal control system (TCS) must maintain the temperature of all other systems within acceptable limits in spite of changes in environmental conditions or heat loads. Most thermal control systems used in crewed vehicles use a two-fluid-loop architecture in order to achieve the flexibility demanded by the mission. The two-loop architecture provides sufficient performance, but it does so at the cost of additional mass. A recently-proposed radiator concept known as a morphing radiator employs shape memory alloys in order to achieve the performance necessary to use a single-loop TCS architecture. However, modeling the behavior of morphing radiators is challenging due to the presence of a unique and complex thermomechanical coupling. In this work, a partitioned analysis procedure is implemented with existing finite element solvers in order to explore the behavior of a possible shape memory alloy-based morphing radiator in a mission-like thermal environment. The results help confirm the theory of operation and demonstrate the ability of this method to support the design and development of future morphing radiators.
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Christopher L. Bertagne, Christopher L. Bertagne, Rubik B. Sheth, Rubik B. Sheth, Darren J. Hartl, Darren J. Hartl, John D. Whitcomb, John D. Whitcomb, "Simulating coupled thermal-mechanical interactions in morphing radiators", Proc. SPIE 9431, Active and Passive Smart Structures and Integrated Systems 2015, 94312F (2 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2175739; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2175739

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