Temperature fluctuation analysis for GRACE twin satellites



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The overall objective of this research project is to find patterns and give a rudimentary explanation of these patterns in how heat flows through and around the GRACE Twin Satellites. Specifically, investigation of an unexplained frequency found in the temperature fluctuations gives rise to a new understanding of heat transfer in a complex mechanical system found in a near-vacuum environment. Impartial and unhindered information for this experiment come from two primary sources: the first is archived thermal analyses performed by the original manufacturers prior to the satellites’ launch in March 2002, and the second is current data feeds constantly streaming from the active satellites in orbit. The relevant data being extracted from this library of information for the purposes of this investigation are recorded at various time intervals, and taken from many locations, which are all discussed. These variables are used to run new simulations in attempt to recreate the original thermal analysis. Finally, significant changes in temperature leads to small thermal expansions, which can add noise to other data gathered by the satellites.