Post Launch and Early Mission Thermal Performance of Parker Solar Probe



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Parker Solar Probe (PSP) will explore the inner region of the heliosphere through in-situ and remote sensing observations of the magnetic field, plasma, and accelerated particles. PSP will travel closer to the Sun [9.86 solar radii (RS)] than any previous spacecraft to obtain repeated coronal magnetic field and plasma measurements in the region of the Sun that generates the solar wind. The mission will entail 7 years from launch on 12 August 2018 until the completion of the 24th orbit, projected to be on 19 June 2025. During its lifetime, the spacecraft will be exposed to wide ranging thermal environments from the cold of Venus eclipse to exposures to the sun’s corona that produces a mission minimum perihelion of 9.86 Rs and equivalent solar constant in excess of 480 suns. Spacecraft power is generated using photovoltaic solar arrays that are actively cooled by the SACS (Solar Array Cooling System manufactured by Collins Aerospace). This paper will discuss the thermally critical post launch SACS thermal operations and also overview the SACS and spacecraft thermal performance through the mission’s first perihelion (35.7 Rs/38 suns) and the first few months of Orbit 2.


Carl Ercol, JHUAPL, USA
G. Allan Holtzman, JHUAPL, USA
ICES101: Spacecraft and Instrument Thermal Systems
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.


PSP, Parker Solar Probe, SACS, Solar Array Cooling System, Thermal