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Satellites in space have to endure very hostile extreme space environments. Temperatures fluctuate between -200 to 150 degrees centigrade. It is imperative the interior on board electronics temperature is fairly constant so the satellite functions. We find out how engineers tackled this problem and solved it. We are introduced to a modern material called Kapton and clever engineering using panels and pipes that form part of the satellite structure, acting as radiators. Graphics and filming inside the factory are used to explain the production process.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
27 January 2012

Classroom Ideas

Could be used to illustrate how the design and choice of material to make a product is determined by the properties that the application requires. The class could discuss the different methods of managing heat in an application (reflection, conduction, convection and radiation) and identify which of these are used in the satellite (for example, the Kapton reflects heat energy, the cooling pipes conduct heat). Students could also research how heat is managed in other products, such as car engines which use air, water and oil cooling.

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