NASA engineers, along with experts from Brigham Young University, have developed a new type of radiator for satellites. The design inspired by Japanese origami art is designed for small satellites such as CubeSat.
Instruments operating on board satellites must be heated, otherwise they would cease to function. Unfortunately, work near the Sun means that additional heat is generated at the same time, which must be radiated to prevent damage to delicate electronics. So special heat sinks are used, but the problem is that because of the mass and size, they are not suitable for small satellites.
NASA, together with Brigham Young University researchers, has created a completely new type of heatsink for such instruments. The design inspired by Japanese origami art is spatial and made of temperature-sensitive materials such as shape-memory alloys. This allows the heat sink to vary in size, thereby increasing heat dissipation efficiency when needed.
For now, only the prototype shown in the image below has been created, and now works on improving this technology. Engineers are working on a special vanadium oxide coating that can increase the heat transfer capacity.