Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Francis C. Wessling

Committee Member

Charles A. Lundquist

Committee Member

Richard S. Miller

Subject(s)

Nuclear spectroscopy., Scintillators., Moon--Exploration--Instruments.

Abstract

This thesis evaluated a passively cooled cylindrical spectrometer array in lunar orbit characterizing the thermal response to provide context for decision-making to scientists and engineers. To provide perspective on thermal issues and controls of space science instruments, a background search of historical lunar missions is provided. Next, a trial science mission is designed and analyzed which brings together the elements of the background search, lunar orbit environment and passive cooling. The proposed Lunar Occultation Observer astrophysics mission which will utilize the moon for occultation in order to locate, identify and map deep space high-energy sources was chosen as the trial mission. Effort was spent sizing the array cylinder by means of a preliminary structural design. Finally, the trial science mission analysis results are provided along with the conclusions drawn. The evaluation demonstrated that the passive cooling approach allowed the maintenance of a spectrometer array below a desired maximum operating temperature.

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