Development of a two-phase heat strap for CubeSat applications



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Due to the compact and modular nature of CubeSat systems, thermal management is becoming a major bottleneck in system design and performance. In this study, we present the development of a flat, lightweight and efficient two-phase heat strap called FlexCool, currently being developed at i2C Solutions. Using acetone as the working fluid, effective thermal conductivities of up to 2,150 W/m-K were demonstrated experimentally, approximately four times greater than pure copper, using a heat strap that was only 0.86 mm thick. The heat strap was also shown to withstand internal vapor pressures as high as 930 kPa, which demonstrates the ability to withstand the pressure difference experienced while operating in space. A closed-form computer model was developed to predict the thermal resistance and maximum heat load achieved by the heat strap, and it was validated with experimental measurements.


United States
i2C Solutions, LLC
University of Colorado - Boulder
ICES107: Thermal Design of Microsatellites, Nanosatellites, and Picosatellites
Vienna, Austria
Steven A. Isaacs, i2C Solutions, LLC, USA
Diego A. Arias, i2C Solutions, LLC, USA
Mike Hulse, i2C Solutions, LLC, USA
Derek Hengeveld, LoadPath, USA
Peter Hamlington, University of Colorado, USA
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.


thermal strap, two-phase, thermal environment, CubeSats