Effect of Illumination Angle on the Performance of Dusted Thermal Control Surfaces in a Simulated Lunar Environment

James R. Gaier
2009 SAE International Journal of Aerospace  
JSC-1A lunar simulant has been applied to AZ93 and AgFEP thermal control surfaces on aluminum substrates in a simulated lunar environment. The temperature of these surfaces was monitored as they were heated with a solar simulator using varying angles of incidence and cooled in a 30 K coldbox. Thermal modeling was used to determine the solar absorptivity (α) and infrared emissivity (ε) of the thermal control surfaces in both their clean and dusted states. It was found that even a sub-monolayer
more » ... dust can significantly raise the α of either type of surface. A full monolayer can increase the α/ε ratio by a factor of 3 to 4 over a clean surface. Little angular dependence of the α of pristine thermal control surfaces for both AZ93 and AgFEP was observed, at least until 30° from the surface. The dusted surfaces showed the most angular dependence of α when the incidence angle was in the range of 25° to 35°. Samples with a full monolayer, like those with no dust, showed little angular dependence in α. The ε of the dusted thermal control surfaces was within the spread of clean surfaces, with the exception of high dust coverage, where a small increase was observed at shallow angles.
doi:10.4271/2009-01-2420 fatcat:l25uhmkmabagllp7zm5z5mrptm