A Comparison of Shroud-Mounted with Tank-Mounted High-Performance Insulation
The use of high-performance insulation in space systems is complicated by a variety of degradations found in the space environment. A recent study demonstrated the possibility of eliminating certain practical difficulties associated with the use of these insulations on space systems by putting the insulation on the shroud around the propellant tanks rather than directly on the tanks. Also, the weights of insulation and lost propellant for these two configurations were nearly the same. As a result, it is recommended that shroud-mounted insulation seriously be considered as a candidate for space systems that require storage of cryogens in orbit. However, the decision as to which system is better will depend on the specific spacecraft requirements.
KeywordsHeat Flux Effective Conductivity Space System Insulation System Weight Penalty
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