The increasing trend towards higher power electronics and the rapid growth of the smallsat industry has led to increased heat dissipation requirements for spacecraft thermal control systems. In this study, an investigation of a trihedral geometry is performed in order to determine its potential as an effective radiator panel for passive thermal management. This form aims to minimise the negative effects of environmental radiation while maximising the heat transfer to deep space.
A radiative thermal model is developed which calculates the thermal energy balance on participating surfaces, taking into account all sources of environmental sources of radiation experienced on the lunar surface. Results are presented for a preliminary model consisting of an array with 7 trihedral elements. The orientation of the faces and the compounding shading effects of surrounding elements causes a change in the effective surface properties. The selection of the optimal configuration is a trade-off between minimising both incident solar irradiation and radiation view factor to the lunar surface.