Hybrid Gas Gap Thermal Insulation Cube (GG-3D)
Enabling & Support

Development of thermal insulation for planetary landers and rovers

24/05/2017 525 views 2 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Shaping the Future
 Programme:  GSTP  Achieved TRL:  5
 Reference:  G513-026MC  Closure:  2017
 Contractor(s):  RUAG Space (AT)

A dedicated solution is needed for thermal insulation to keep a system e.g. lander, rover, habitat within allowable temperature limits and to limit power consumption in the case of extreme thermal environment. When in presence of atmosphere, conventional vacuum based multilayer insulation has low efficiency.

High Density Polyimide Foam Thermal Insulation Cube (HDPIF-3D)
High Density Polyimide Foam Thermal Insulation Cube (HDPIF-3D)

The objective is to develop a thermal insulation suitable for planetary landers and rover. A breadboard is foreseen to demonstrate the concept and to verify the performance in representative conditions. 

An extensive trade-off of on various materials was carried out and supported by full material characterization tests. Two insulation concepts were selected (High Density Polyimide Foam and Hybrid Gas Gap) and they were both tested in a cube configuration in vacuum and in 10mbar of Nitrogen and CO2.

Hybrid Gas Gap Thermal Insulation Cross Section
Hybrid Gas Gap Thermal Insulation Cross Section

The technical solutions are light weight, flexible and can be applied directly on the external/internal walls, wrapped around electrical cables and to mechanisms 

Next steps
The technology would be ready to be qualified within a program since the requirement and shape for insulation is very much project specific.

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