by Johnathan Gamaunt, Arizona State University
The Phoenix CubeSat is an undergraduate-led 3u CubeSat designed to study Urban Heat Islands through infrared imaging. The Phoenix mission is an educational mission, where our primary goal is to develop a functioning CubSat, capable of imaging the Earth in the IR spectrum. The data collected form the mission will support the study of how city composition, using local climate zones, affects the surface Urban Heat Island signature in major U.S. cities.
The success of this mission depends on maintaining all components within their operating temperatures for component survival, and keeping the camera thermally stable in a specific temperature range to get usable science data. Thermal Desktop gave us an analysis environment to make these temperature predictions and solve complex thermal models. Thermal Desktop has a simple feel about it that allows you to build and customize your design in an intuitive way. Using the Logic Manager, I was able to model all of the satellite rotations in orbit for imaging. I was also able to model all of our TVAC tests and correlating real data to the thermal model to fine tune the real flight predicts.
Thanks to C&R Technology for providing the Phoenix CubeSat program access to this software; because of this experience I was able to obtain an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where I was able to future develop my Thermal Desktop skills.