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Development of the solar probe plus spacecraft thermal protection system (TPS) thermal simulator-subscale testing

AuthorCongdon, Elizabeth; Abel, Elisabeth; Heisler, Elizabeth;
KeywordsAerodynamics; Heat shielding; NASA; Probes; Simulators; Spacecraft; Thermal insulating materials; Parker Engineering
AbstractThe NASA’s Solar Probe Plus spacecraft must endure extreme heat loads while passing near the Sun. Due to its high incident heatload and temperature, the spacecraft Thermal Protection System (TPS) must be simulated using a custom thermal simulator during spacecraft thermal vacuum testing. As part of the development of the TPS thermal simulator, subscale testing was performed. The design, testing, results and lessons learned are described in this paper. Especially useful are the design aspects needed to achieve the high temperatures, low spatial gradients, and strict contamination requirements required by the program. Following successful subscale testing, the program is moving forward to the fabrication and test of the full scale simulator.
© 2016, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.
Year of Publication2016
Journal32nd AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology and Ground Testing Conference
Number of Pages1-9
Date Published