Variable Emissivity Surface (VES) Using Ferrofluid
Variable Emissivity Surface
As a junior at Louisiana Tech University I had an original idea to create a variable emissivity surface using ferrofluid as a control medium. The motivation behind this idea was to create a new temperature control system for satilites in space. Current solutions for temperature control typically use mechanical louvers that encounter fatigue over their lifetime and fail to perform their task sucessfully. A Variable Emissivity Surface (VES) would be a semi-solid-state device where the only moving parts would be the ferrofluid and suspension liquid on the surface of the VES. The ferrofluid will be used as a high emissivity medium and the polished backing plate will be the low emissivity surface. The intent of the VES is to use electromagnets underneath the surface to manipulate the ferrofluid and allow for varying degrees of emissivity to be present on the VES based on the amount of the low emissivity surface visible.
This project is currently in the prototyping phase and is being funded by NASA through the LaSPACE consortium.