The temperature of an orbiting satellite with small internal power dissipation is determined by its radiation environment, the radiation properties of its surface, and orbital geometry. These parameters are considered for a spherical satellite. The available design parameter is the ratio of the effective solar absorptance of the exterior surface to the hemispheric emittance. The construction of a surface which has high specular reflectance and controllable low-temperature emittance is achieved by applying an evaporated layer of silicon monoxide over a highly reflecting aluminum surface. Information on the generation of uniform films on a spherical surface is presented along with data on the infrared properties and emittances of filmed surfaces. The successful application of this method of controlling temperature is demonstrated by the temperature behavior of Vanguard II (1959a) in orbit.
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