The Spacecraft Thermal Management project is developing a new way in which to control the temperature of a spacecraft using a variable emissivity radiator. Thermal control of a spacecraft is crucial to the success of its mission, which has a specified operating temperature range to be maintained whether in direct sunlight or shadow. This project incorporates the development of an electrochromic film to actively control the emissivity and temperature of a spacecraft. Students on the project will cover the theory of space thermal control, learn manufacturing compatible with a vacuum environment, and optimize the electrochromic film composition through testing. There are tasks including computer modeling, hardware manufacturing and testing, and chemical manufacturing and testing.
This is a unique project that has close ties to current industry applications and research.