RFMLI Thermal Blanket with Low RF Reflectivity

Objectives

Design, manufacture and characterize a MLI blanket that is capable of reducing the coupling between antennas and multipath effects.

The MLI blanket shall:

  1. Maintain its primary thermos-optical functionality,
  2. Be able to withstand the harsh space environment,

Be characterised with respected to their thermal-optical and electrical properties.

Challenges

The key challenges of the project are to develop with available space qualified materials (outgassing, cleanliness, solvent compatibility) a technology to enable RF absorption in either C band, Ku band and/or Ka band.

In addition, the blanket shall perform, at least, as a traditional MLI, withstanding temperatures up to 200 ºC and with a thermal efficiency under 0,02.

Best practices shall be applied in order to be PIM-free.

Mass and thickness shall be comprised between acceptable values.

Attachment, grounding and venting solutions shall be established and verified.

ITAR-free materials are preferred.

Benefits

To our knowledge this technology is not available on the market, therefore the advantage is to provide an RF absorption on an almost typical MLI with currently no competition.

Features

Band coverage: K band, Ku band and Ka band.

Provide RF reflectivity reduction of 20 dB wrt reference MLI (normal incidence) for linear and circular-polarized radiation.

PIM-free best practices applied.

Thermal efficiency under 0,02.

Can operate from -100 ºC to +200 °C (on outer layer).

Plan

Phase 1:

Task 1: state of the art survey; requirements definition

Task 2: concept trade-off

Task 3: preliminary design of MLI breadboard

Task 4: sample test campaign

Phase 2:

Task 5: detailed design and analysis of MLI breadboard

Task 6: manufacture of MLI breadboard

Task 7: characterization and testing of MLI breadboard

Task 8: development plan

Current status

Project has been almost completed, final meeting scheduled.

Contacts

ESA Contacts

Status date

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 08:33