Psyche Passive Thermal Control Louvers MAIT Lessons Learnt



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Since 2019, SENER Aeroespacial has been in charge of the design, assembly, integration, manufacturing and testing of the thermal louvers that will fly on board the Psyche spacecraft. These thermal louvers, based on previous SENER heritage, are designed to open and close on a fully passive bases, requiring no power to operate and providing a variation of IR emissivity of satellite radiative surfaces. In high temperature conditions they remain open to let heat radiate away, but in cold conditions they automatically close.

Two qualification models have been submitted to the complete qualification test campaign, including life test (2000 cycles). After qualification acceptance, 20 flight units have been manufactured and tested. Among these units, three different temperatures ranges and two different sizes have been implemented.

One of the biggest challenges that SENER has faced is the series production management with a tight schedule and flight model versions. Some examples of the project success key points are the early long lead items identification, the strict acceptance criteria for the different louvers elements and a proper raw material provisioning to cover rejections. A thorough follow-up of all the items involved in the integration process has allowed to accomplish an efficient work and a clear documentation, avoiding misunderstandings among different working teams and helping with the correct project progress.

This paper completes the information published in the previous ICES 2020 conference regarding Psyche louvers qualification test campaign and includes the description of flight units, acceptance test carried out and a detailed evaluation of the functional performance test results. Main outcomes of the QM & FM test, problems encountered during assembly and test (condensation during life test, calibration iterations, blades acceptance criteria, VDA scratches �) and implemented solutions are presented and discussed.


Isabel Soto Arma�anzas, SENER Aeroespacial
Jose Javier Vi�als Abel�n, SENER Aeroespacial
Ben Kwong, Maxar Technologies
Paul Linggi, Maxar Technologies
ICES203: Thermal Testing
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


thermal louver, thermal control, bimetal, test campaign, lessons learnt