Thermal analysis aims to check that KIROBO does not get too hot inside the ISS. Thermal data acquisition experiment simulates the data necessary for the analysis in advance.
On Earth there is always an air current. The phenomenon of a ”substance cooling”, is caused by the flow of air. The air surrounding a hot substance will be warmed, become lighter and rise. To replace this, new air flows in around the substance and cools it.
However, in zero-gravity this air current will not occur. When something becomes hot, it remains hot. A substance with rising temperature will become hotter.
In the ISS a slight flow of air is created artificially. If this does not exhaust heat sufficiently, KIROBO’s parts can be damaged. Also, the surface temperature could exceed the defined value. On the ISS, maximum surface temperature is set to ensure the safety of the astronauts. For KIROBO this is set at 49°C.
By conducting a thermal data acquisition experiment and analysis based on the data, it was confirmed that KIROBO’s surface temperature remains under 47°C, and that the mission can be safely carried out in space.