Session

Technical Session III: Advanced Technologies II

SSC13-III-3.pdf (2015 kB)
Presentation Slides

Abstract

The use of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components in SmallSat platforms such as CubeSats and nanosatellites can enable operational mission capabilities within affordable program costs, with the caveat that these components must either be isolated from the space environment or be expected to have short lifetimes. The rapid evolution of additive manufacturing of complex three-dimensional structures is enabling new capabilities for fabricating spacecraft components in an affordable and responsive manner. In this paper, we present results of our work adapting additive manufacturing technologies to create multifunctional structures that provide tailored isolation from the radiation and thermal environments of space. This work has developed methods for 3D printing with materials having strength, temperature tolerance, and outgassing characteristics suitable for use in the space environment, as well as for integrating multiple materials into the process to provide multifunctional capabilities. Using these materials and processes, we have developed methods for fabricating "Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding" (VSRS™), structures that incorporate integral graded-Z radiation shielding, as well as "Structural Multi-Layer-Shielding" (SMLI ™), components that incorporate integral thermal insulation. These methods enable responsive fabrication of spacecraft structures with complex geometries, such as avionics enclosures, conformal covers, and even satellite 'exoskeleton' with tailored radiation shielding, thermal isolation, heat dissipation, and EMI shielding.

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Aug 13th, 8:30 AM

Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding and Thermal Insulation through Additive Manufacturing

The use of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components in SmallSat platforms such as CubeSats and nanosatellites can enable operational mission capabilities within affordable program costs, with the caveat that these components must either be isolated from the space environment or be expected to have short lifetimes. The rapid evolution of additive manufacturing of complex three-dimensional structures is enabling new capabilities for fabricating spacecraft components in an affordable and responsive manner. In this paper, we present results of our work adapting additive manufacturing technologies to create multifunctional structures that provide tailored isolation from the radiation and thermal environments of space. This work has developed methods for 3D printing with materials having strength, temperature tolerance, and outgassing characteristics suitable for use in the space environment, as well as for integrating multiple materials into the process to provide multifunctional capabilities. Using these materials and processes, we have developed methods for fabricating "Versatile Structural Radiation Shielding" (VSRS™), structures that incorporate integral graded-Z radiation shielding, as well as "Structural Multi-Layer-Shielding" (SMLI ™), components that incorporate integral thermal insulation. These methods enable responsive fabrication of spacecraft structures with complex geometries, such as avionics enclosures, conformal covers, and even satellite 'exoskeleton' with tailored radiation shielding, thermal isolation, heat dissipation, and EMI shielding.