Metallic foams are being investigated for possible use in the thermal protection systems of reusable launch vehicles. As a result, the performance of these materials needs to be characterized over a wide range of temperatures and pressures. In this paper a radiation/conduction model is presented for heat transfer in metallic foams. Candidates for the optimal transient experiment to determine the intrinsic properties of the model are found by two methods. First, an optimality criterion is used to find an experiment to find all of the parameters using one heating event. Second, a pair of heating events is used to determine the parameters in which one heating event is optimal for finding the parameters related to conduction, while the other heating event is optimal for finding the parameters associated with radiation. Simulated data containing random noise was analyzed to determine the parameters using both methods. In all cases the parameter estimates could be improved by analyzing a larger data record than suggested by the optimality criterion.