The objective of this task was to quantify thermal losses involving integrating MLI into real life situations. Testing specifically focused on the effects of penetrations (including structural attachments, electrical conduit/feedthroughs, and fluid lines) through MLI. While there have been attempts at quantifying these losses both analytically and experimentally, none have included a thorough investigation of the methods and materials that could be used in such applications. To attempt to quantify the excess heat load coming into the system due to the integration losses, a calorimeter was designed to study two dimensional heat transfer through penetrated MLI. The test matrix was designed to take as many variables into account as was possible with the limited test duration and system size. The parameters varied were the attachment mechanism, the buffer material (for buffer attachment mechanisms only), the thickness of the buffer, and the penetration material. The work done under this task is an attempt to measure the parasitic heat loads and affected insulation areas produced by system integration, to model the parasitic loads, and from the model produce engineering equations to allow for the determination of parasitic heat loads in future applications. The methods of integration investigated were no integration, using a buffer to thermally isolate the strut from the MLI, and temperature matching the MLI on the strut. Several materials were investigated as a buffer material including aerogel blankets, aerogel bead packages, cryolite, and even an evacuated vacuum space.
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