Thermal Modelling and Analysis of a Cube Satellite, EIRSAT-1: Steady Analysis

Peter Wallace, Aby Kalapura, Sung Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)
769 Downloads (Pure)


The Educational Irish Research Satellite, EIRSAT-1, was being developed through a collaborative space project by students and staff of University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast with the aims to build, launch and operate the first Irish satellite. This project was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as a part of its educational ‘Fly Your Satellite’ program and it will have a significant impact on the future space industry in Ireland by giving students first-hand experience in space flight for the first time. In this paper, the results from the first stage of thermal modeling and steady analysis of EIRSAT-1, produced using the commercial software package, Thermal Desktop, are presented. An orbital analysis was performed in which three different satellite orientations were tested for a given orbit. The orbital positions for both the maximum and minimum average absorbed heat fluxes were found in which the end cap is always pointing towards the center of the Earth. An internal thermal analysis was carried out, firstly on individual components, which were then combined to give a complete system-level thermal analysis. The overall steady-state thermal analysis of the combined internal and external structure was carried out at the worst hot and cold orbital positions. As a result, the most critical component in thermal control is found. A baseline case with no thermal control was compared against thermally controlled cases – using solar paints and insulation (MLI). The cases with MLI, plus SolarWhite paint show a significant reduction in the maximum temperature compared to the baseline case. Finally, the passive thermal control design (i.e. solar paint and MLI) is sufficient to ensure mission integrity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. (AIAA)
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-62410-575-3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2018
Event2018 AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition - Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, United States
Duration: 17 Sept 201819 Sept 2018


Conference2018 AIAA SPACE and Astronautics Forum and Exposition
Abbreviated title2018 AIAA SPACE Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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