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John O | February 2017

Aavid Thermacore technology cooling satellite photographing the sun


As an article on SatNews.com described, Aavid Thermacore, a subsidiary of Aavid Corporation based in the northeast of England, will have its k-Core Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite technology on the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter that is tasked with a deep space mission to take photographs of the sun.

 

satellite_600

Aavid Thermacore is cooling instruments on a satellite tasked with photographing the sun.
(Wikimedia Commons)

 

Aavid’s technology will be used to keep the instruments on the satellite cool as it orbits the sun’s surface. The mission is intended to record atmospheric measurements and take high-resolution photos of the sun’s surface to give scientists a better understanding of the sun’s 11-year cycle of sunspots and solar flare activity. The satellite will also record solar waves, winds, and energy particles, according to the article.

 

Aavid Thermacore is one of 10 British companies selected to take part in the $320 million satellite program. The satellite will be orbiting within 43 million kilometers of the sun’s surface and reach 5,500°C. Aavid will design and manufacture two radiators to dissipate the heat from the instruments to the edge of the satellite as well as solid conduction bars that will spread the heat from “sensitive areas” of the satellite to the radiators.

 

This is not the first space project that Aavid Thermacore has worked on. It also used its k-core technology to cool NASA’s Earth Science Satellite Observatory in June.

 

k-Core Technology is a heat transfer system that uses encapsulated graphite to spread heat away from high-powered components and, according to the Aavid Thermacore website, is typically designed for the specific applications that customers demand. The encapsulant materials can be determined by the customer’s needs and include aluminum, copper, composites, and more.

 

The satellite will lift off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. in 2018 and will take 3-1/2 years to reach its solar orbit. The total mission will be for seven years. 

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