Columbus Ka-band Terminal thermal control - a compact design for varying conditions



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Columbus Ka-band Terminal (COLKa) will enhance and add new capabilities to the existing Columbus on-orbit and ground communications systems and create an additional bi-directional Ka-Band data transmission for the ISS. The terminal will be accommodated on a platform offering support panels and structure designed to withstand thermal and structural environments and form the interface between the communications system from MDSRL (MDA UK), the Columbus module and the launch vehicle/temporary on-orbit stowage location. The platform is delivered by Kayser Italia, under ESA contract. In order to ensure compliance with Columbus design and operations and with the boundaries of the already established interfaces the implementation is coordinated with and followed by the Columbus system authority.

In the location where it is situated on the Columbus exterior the COLKa Terminal is exposed to pronounced changes in the thermal environment both during the orbit and between seasons. It forms a major challenge to meet the thermal requirements for the varying conditions while also respecting the constraints which are imposed by the ISS. It involves adapting the design to the launch of the COLKa Terminal and transfer by EVA crew to the position for integration, via the ISS airlock. The paper will give an overview of the different aspects of the thermal design, analysis results and the planned verification programme.


Kayser Italia
European Space Agency
ICES206: Manned Orbiting Infrastructures, Space Station and Payload Thermal Control
Vienna, Austria
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.
V. Zolesi, Kayser Italia srl, Italy
F. Lorenzini, Kayser Italia srl, Italy
J. Persson, European Space Agency ESTEC, The Netherlands
P. L. Ganga, Kayser Italia srl, Italy


Columbus, International Space Station, Communications system, Thermal control