Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Brent E Stucker


Research has been completed to determine the most effective thermal control architecture for modular satellites. This research investigated principles of modularity, modular spacecraft examples, thermal control methods, and advanced thermal control technologies. A modular spacecraft was designed as a case study to determine key influences and issues. A number of thermal control architectures were developed. Each was evaluated for compatibility with modularity principles, thermal control performance, and a realizable implementation. Thermal control performance was determined by simulating on-orbit conditions for a number of design reference missions, including traditional thermal control architecture used for comparison. An effective thermal control architecture was found that has all desired attributes. The methods of development, simulation, and evaluation are presented with results and key findings.