Traditional structure of the thermal control system radiator is an assembly with aluminum alloy skins. ORPE Technologiya specialists, together with specialists from NPO Lavochkin, proposed to produce the skins for the Arktika-M radiator from heat-conducting carbon fiber with increased thermal conductivity and stiffness. Thermal and strength analysis were carried out, and technology was developed for bonding carbon fiber composite skins to metal radiator pipes operating in a constant temperature difference mode. As a result, the use of highly-thermal-conductive carbon fiber composite instead of traditional aluminum alloys for the production of the skins made it possible to reduce the weight of the radiator without compromising the design reliability by more than 15%. This engineering design solution was implemented for the first time in the world.
“Composite materials with unique properties can significantly reduce the weight of spacecraft elements and increase its payload. Our specialists are constantly working on expanding the possibilities of using composites for the production of space equipment. The production of a new generation of solar cell carriers, which are among the lightest in the world, has already been launched. Other enterprises of the chemical industry holding of the Rostec State Corporation are also developing products for the space industry. For example, the enterprises of the holding are currently working on the creation of heat-conducting carbon fibers from domestic raw materials with the characteristics necessary for the production of rocket and space products", noted Andrei Silkin, Director General of ORPE Technologiya.
The Arktika-M satellite, developed by NPO Lavochkin that was launched into the calculated orbit on February 28, 2021 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, became the first spacecraft of the Arktika highly elliptical hydrometeorological space system. The satellite provides round-the-clock continuous monitoring of the northern territory of the Russian Federation and the seas of the Arctic Ocean. Mass of the satellite is 2.2 tons and the estimated service life is 5-7 years. Launches of several more satellites of this series are planned for the future.