Origami radiators will help satellites remove heat


Small and super-small artificial satellites such as CubeSat weighing not more than 1.3 kg are becoming more popular , since they do not require large expenditures for their launching into orbit. At the same time, thanks to the achievements of modern technologies, the capabilities of these “kids” are constantly increasing. However, they also have a serious drawback: small satellites quickly heat up in the sun and also quickly cool down.

Associate Professor of the University of Brigham Young (USA) Brian Iverson and doctoral student Ridge Muldorf have developed an unusual radiator for small satellites. It is made by origami technology and is a set of V-shaped structures that, depending on the temperature, open or close.

The effect of opening and closing became possible thanks to heat-sensitive materials – alloys that can preserve the “memory” of the form. When the satellite is heated from the sun or the on-board electronics are in operation, the radiator will automatically fold inward. The deeper the folds, the more heat will be absorbed.

However, the collected heat must be disposed of. Currently, NASA specialist Vivek Dvivedi is experimenting with radiator coatings that can radiate heat into space. The most probable “candidate” is vanadium oxide, which begins to heat transfer at a temperature of +68 ° С.

Vivek Dvivedi

Dvvendi, together with professor at the University of Maryland, Raymond Adomaitis, are trying to increase the effectiveness of the material by coating with vanadium oxide thin films of silver and titanium.

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