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Investigation of thermal analysis for a spacecraft traveling to Mars

Presentation #118.01 in the session Mission-supporting Practices, Modeling, and Data (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Investigation of thermal analysis for a spacecraft traveling to Mars

This work deals with numerical modelling for the analysis of temperature variation of the spacecraft’s outer surface. It is observed that environmental effects such as vacuum, electrically neutral particles, radiation, micrometeoroids, and orbital debris, in general, change the absorptance to emissivity ratio of the spacecraft’s external surfaces. In contrast, those related to plasma affect contamination re-attraction. The irregular plasma clusters that are passing the Earth-spacecraft line, may affect the communication and navigation systems of the satellite because they may reflect, refract, or absorb radio waves.

This work explores the temperature effect on the spacecraft’s outer surface in Lower Earth Orbit (LEO) and interplanetary space from Earth and Mars. For that, an evaluation of the intensity of solar rays as distance rises, as well as the strength of solar storms hitting the spacecraft, is required to be done. This work attempts to make a numerical model in which equations are simulated to analyse the effect of temperature function and inclination of the spacecraft axis on the solar radiation axis. The temperature variation on the spacecraft’s outer surface is simulated for different angular velocities along with three distant locations chosen along the travel of the spacecraft in the interplanetary travel from Earth to Mars.

Finally, the model gives graphs between the temperature of the outer surface and the angular position on the spacecraft surface. This gives a clear idea of the surface temperatures of the spacecraft as it travels, the approx temperatures at these different locations are 289.47K, 275.45K, and 258.91K. The range of the surface temperatures depends on the angular velocity of the vehicle i.e. when the angular velocity is less the temperature range is bigger whereas with higher angular velocity the temperature range is smaller, maintaining the approx temperature throughout the vehicle body.

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