The current multi-layer insulation used in the extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) will not be effective in the atmosphere of Mars due to the presence of interstitial gases. Alternative thermal insulation means have been subjected to preliminary evaluation by NASA to attempt to identify a material that will meet the target conductivity of 0.005 W/m-K. This study analyzes numerically the thermal conductivity performance for three of these candidate insulating fiber materials in terms of various denier (size), interstitial void fractions, interstitial void media, and orientations to the applied temperature gradient to evaluate their applicability for the new Mars suit insulation. The results demonstrate that the best conductive insulation is achieved for a high-void-fraction configuration with a grooved fiber cross section, aerogel void medium, and the fibers oriented normal to the heat flux vector. However, this configuration still exceeds the target thermal conductivity by a factor of 1.5.
Comparison of Thermal Insulation Performance of Fibrous Materials for the Advanced Space Suit
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division June 28, 2001; revision received April 25, 2003. Associate Editor: E. Scott.
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Paul, H. L., and Diller, K. R. (October 9, 2003). "Comparison of Thermal Insulation Performance of Fibrous Materials for the Advanced Space Suit ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. October 2003; 125(5): 639–647. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1611885
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