18-20 October 2022
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

Novel Graphene-based Thermal strap

19 Oct 2022, 14:00


thermal control technologies Thermal Control


Richard Högström (VTT MIKES)


Within the ESA’s Science Program related to the Athena (Advanced Telescope for High Energy Astrophysics) mission the possibility of applying graphene-based thermal straps for cooling the scientific instrumentation on board the satellite, specifically the Wide Field Imager (WFI), was investigated. Graphene-based thermal straps could potentially replace the current baseline design relying on heat pipes for cooling the WFI due to the excellent properties of graphene in terms of lightweight, flexibility and thermal conductance. The aim was to design and develop a graphene-based thermal strap for the cooling the WFI instrument. Critical functions and performances were verified on a full-scale Breadboard in a relevant environment for the WFI application. The developed graphene-based thermal strap was shown to exhibit extraordinary properties with respect to lightweight, flexibility and thermal conductance when compared to conventional metal-based solutions. Comprehensive testing of the mechanical, thermal and cleanliness properties and durability of the developed strap and related materials were made to verify that the strap conforms to the various requirements set by ESA in relation to the Athena space mission, specifically for thermal management of the WFI. The thermal conductance value was found to even exceed the best commercial solution. Novel test setups and procedures for thermal, vibrational and particulate testing were developed to increase confidence in the test results. Critical functions and performances were verified on a Breadboard in a relevant environment for the WFI application reaching TRL-5. Moreover, the developed strap design can be applied, and if needed re-dimensioned, for other space and non-space applications where similar properties are desired. The next step will be to commercialize the technology together with an industrial partner.

Primary author


Dr Shahin Tabandeh (VTT MIKES) Dr Henrik Sandberg (VTT) Mr Jussi Hämäläinen (VTT MIKES) Dr Virpi Korpelainen (VTT MIKES) Mr Kalle Kanervo (VTT) Mr Jani Korhonen (VTT MIKES) Dr Anssi Järvinen (VTT) Dr Björn Hemming (VTT MIKES)

Presentation Materials