Heat Energy Storage Module for Thermal Management of Small Satellites in Low Earth Orbit Thermal Conditions

Abdelrahman M. Elshaer, A. M. A. Soliman, M. Kassab, A. A. Hawwash

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Small satellite thermal management aims to keep the satellite hardware components within the ideal operating temperature range. Due to the intermittent heating conditions in low earth orbit (LEO), thermal regulation is a difficult issue. The satellite in LEO occasionally appears in the illumination zone between the earth and the sun, receiving a significant quantity of solar heat flux. During other times, the satellite is in the eclipse zone, when the earth's shadow significantly cools satellite components. The current work looks at using a thermal storage panel (TSP) along with phase change materials (PCM) to regulate the temperatures of satellite subsystems. The TSP was built of aluminium and measured 100 mm in length, 71 mm in width, and 25 mm in height on the outside. The PCMs utilized were organic-based compounds RT 15 and RT 22. The TSP was tested with two different heating loads of 11 and 14 W. These heating loads are typical satellite subsystem heating demands. The TSP was quantitatively evaluated in several scenarios with and without PCM. A numerical model was validated using earlier work linked to the current topic, and the findings fit well. The results revealed that the PCM performed better in terms of thermal control than the cases without the PCM. With an 11 W heating load, the RT 22 case may reduce the maximum temperature by 35.2% while increasing the lowest temperature by 116%.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpringer Proceedings in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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