OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 38, Iss. 4 — Feb. 1, 1999
  • pp: 674–678

TiN-alloy coatings for temperature control of space vessels

Richard Karmhag and Carl G. Ribbing  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 4, pp. 674-678 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (95 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The problem of combining the temperature control of a space vehicle with the mechanical and chemical stability of the surface is addressed. With the absorption of solar radiation and the emission of thermal radiation considered the static and dominant factors that determine the equilibrium temperature of a spherical object, a simple model is formulated. Realistic variations of the two material-dependent parameters, solar absorptance α and hemispherical emittance ε, permit a large change in the equilibrium temperature, from less than -50 to more than +150 °C. It is pointed out that for a generalized gray surface, i.e., one made from a material whose reflectance–emittance has the same value within the visible and the thermal wavelength regions, the equilibrium temperature is ≈5 °C, independent of the numerical value of the reflectance. With the requirement for electrical conductivity also taken into account, TiN alloys are identified as candidate materials. Measurements and calculations of some of them indicate that this group may contain a material that fulfills all the requirements. The experimental reflectance spectrum is used in estimating the equilibrium temperature for different TiN alloys; one Ti–Al–N-alloy with a gradient content of Al is found to have the lowest equilibrium temperature, 66 °C.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.6810) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Thermal effects
(160.0160) Materials : Materials
(310.1620) Thin films : Interference coatings
(350.6050) Other areas of optics : Solar energy

Original Manuscript: October 15, 1998
Published: February 1, 1999

Richard Karmhag and Carl G. Ribbing, "TiN-alloy coatings for temperature control of space vessels," Appl. Opt. 38, 674-678 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. L. Hemmerdinger, R. J. Hembach, “Spacecraft thermal design,” in Handbook of Military Infrared Technology, W. L. Wolfe, ed., (Office of Naval Research, Department of the Navy, Washington, D.C., 1965), pp. 784–795.
  2. M. K. Wahlström, E. Johansson, E. Veszelei, P. Bennich, M. Olsson, S. Hogmark, “Improved Langmuir probe surface coatings for the Cassini satellite,” Thin Solid Films 220, 315–320 (1992). [CrossRef]
  3. B. Holback, Institute of Space and Plasma Physics, Uppsala University, S-75591 Uppsala, Sweden (personal communication, 1998).
  4. M. Veszelei, E. Veszelei, “Optical properties and equilibrium temperatures of titanium-nitride- and graphite-coated Langmuir probes for space application,” Thin Solid Films 236, 46–50 (1993). [CrossRef]
  5. J. A. Duffie, W. A. Beckman, Solar Engineering of Thermal Processes, (Wiley, New York, 1980), pp. 144–170.
  6. C. Kittel, Introduction to Solid State Physics, 7th ed. (Wiley, New York, 1996), p. 331.
  7. C.-G. Ribbing, Ö. Staaf, S. K. Andersson, “Temperature correction of radiometric emission factors for non-gray objects,” Opt. Eng. 36, 3416–3424 (1997). [CrossRef]
  8. J. Palmer, “The measurement of transmission, absorption, emission and reflection,” in Handbook of Optics, M. Bass, E. W. Van Stryland, D. R. Williams, W. L. Wolfe, eds. (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1995), Vol. 2, Chap. 25.
  9. K. S. Zhou, H. Herman, “Cavitation erosion of titanium and Ti-6Al-4V: effects of nitriding,” Wear 80, 101–113 (1982). [CrossRef]
  10. G. G. Maksimovich, I. N. Pogrelyuk, V. N. Fedirko, “Structure formation in nitrided layers of titanium alloys,” Met. Sci. Heat Treat. 28, 393–397 (1986). [CrossRef]
  11. M. Georgson, D. McIntyre, J. E. Green, G. Håkansson, J.-E. Sundgren, C.-G. Ribbing, W.-D. Muntz, “Optical properties of polycrystalline metastable Ti1-xAlxN-alloys deposited by magnetron sputter deposition,” presented at the International Conference on Metallurgical Coatings, San Diego, Calif., 2–5 April 1988.
  12. B. Karlsson, J.-E. Sundgren, B.-O. Johansson, “Optical constants and spectral selectivity of titanium carbonitrides,” Thin Solid Films 87, 181–187 (1982). [CrossRef]
  13. A. J. Sievers, “The emissivity of metals,” in Solar Materials Science, L. E. Murr, ed. (Academic, London, 1980), pp. 229–254.
  14. F. Geotti-Bianchini, “Total hemispherical emissivity of coated glass,” (Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro, Murano, Italy, 1993).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited