Multi-layer Insulation
21 Sep 2009



RAL Space has several years’ heritage in the manufacture of Multi-Layer Insulation, and has an excellent reputation in the manufacture of bespoke insulation for complex geometries for space instruments, satellites and ground based test facilities.

Thermal blankets made of Multi-Layer Insulation with different optical properties.

​​​​​Multi-Layer Insulation clean room at RAL Space​

Credit: STFC RAL Space

We are able to provide a complete range of services for the design, manufacture and integration of Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI). MLI is thermal insulation composed of multiple layers of thin sheets of reflective materials, separated by thin netting spacers. It is one of the main items of the spacecraft thermal design, and is critical in protecting the satellite from the temperature extremes of space. MLI is commonly used on satellites, space instruments and ground based test facilities.

We have designed and manufactured MLI blankets for many important scientific missions including the Urthecast ISS cameras project, SLSTR, and the MIRI instrument on board the James Webb Space Telescope (using deep cryogenic MLI).​

RAL Space provides a full service from initial conceptual design to MLI manufacture, test and integration. The MLI group manufactures bespoke insulation products for complex geometries with the support of an experienced thermal engineering group and mechanical design teams.

Working in close collaboration with the customer, we will develop a detailed specification for the blankets which will satisfy the requirements for your specific application. Building on our extensive heritage we are able to offer MLI to suit almost all applications, from atomic oxygen resistant materials for Low Earth Orbit applications, to MLI designed for cryogenic applications, to MLI able to withstand high temperatures and many more. All blankets are made to order, so the MLI can be entirely bespoke to your application. Examples of typical blanket compositions that are regularly requested by customers are provided within the links.

Whilst large enough to undertake manufacture for full satellites, we pride ourselves on providing an equal level of service regardless of the size of project.

All MLI activities are undertaken within an accredited ISO9001 framework, with approved ISO9001 procedures for each stage of the work. ​

Multi-Layer Insulation on SLSTR and MIRI 

Credit: STFC RAL Space​​

For more information please contact: RAL Space Enquiries