Thermal Analysis of the Iodine Satellite for Critical Design Review
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The Iodine Satellite (iSAT) is a small satellite the size of a 12U cubesat with a primary mission to demonstrate the ability of the iodine fueled Hall Effect Thruster (HET) propulsion system. The mission will mature the propulsion system to be used in small satellites and other applications in the future. The design of the satellite has undergone many changes due to both thermal and power issues, which often either cause or are related to each other. This paper will describe the thermal control system of the design while the project goes into its Critical Design Review. The thermal control system is implemented to maintain component temperatures below their respective operational limits throughout the mission, while also maintaining propulsion components at the higher temperatures needed to allow gaseous iodine propellant to flow. The design includes heaters, insulation, radiators, coatings, and thermal straps. Challenges associated with thermally controlling the system include a high power density, small amounts of available radiative surface area, localized temperature requirements of the propulsion components, and the degree of the effect of orbital parameters. This paper will also discuss assumptions and bracketing techniques used in the thermal modeling to account for project unknowns, such as orbit, launch date, and exact mission length.