Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Aerospace Engineering Sciences

First Advisor

David M Klaus

Second Advisor

James A. Nabity

Third Advisor

Brian Berland

Abstract

Water consumption for space suit thermal control is a limiting factor on long-term space exploration missions. A concept is proposed for an integrated, flexible suit radiator using infrared electrochromic materials for modulated heat rejection from the suit. Properties of electrochromic materials, the structure of electrochromic devices, and relevant heat transfer processes are presented as background information. Analytical methods are employed to bound theoretical performance and determine required emissivity ranges for lunar surface operations. Case studies are presented incorporating Apollo program and Advanced Walkback Test metabolic and environmental data to estimate sublimator water consumption and hypothetical water savings with the electrochromic radiator. Concepts are presented and analyzed for integrating an electrochromic radiator with existing and future space suit designs. A preliminary systems-level trade analysis is performed with the Equivalent System Mass metric used to compare this technology with the legacy sublimator and other extravehicular activity cooling technologies in development. Experimental objectives, procedures, and results are presented for both bench-top and thermal vacuum testing of electrochromic radiator materials.

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