Due to increasing payload electronics power consumption, today's spacecrafts often require generally larger payload radiators as the spacecraft body can provide. The use of deployable radiators seems to be the next logical step to achieve the required enlargement of the radiative area. Large deployable radiators based on two-phase heat transportation systems are today available, but these systems are technically complex and therefore not suited for smaller and cost-efficient spacecrafts, especially in future spacecraft constellations. Therefore, the innovative passive deployable radiator system LiDeR (Lightweight Deployable Radiator) has been developed, incorporating a very cost-efficient but also very high thermal conductivity panel. This panel is based on graphite foils sandwiched between hooked metal sheets which enable the high out-of-plane conductivity required for the radiator functionality.
The paper will present the outcome of an accompanying material investigation campaign, the results of mechanical shaker tests on a full-size breadboard level as well as breadboard performance demonstration in a thermal vacuum chamber. Since the results are very promising, the authors will present and discuss the extensive test program which has been set-up to gain further confidence in the technology by material test data and material model refinement.