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Payload Thermal Management Technology

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
MDA 09-020
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
8276 Eagle Road Larkspur, CO 80118-8224
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Payload Thermal Management Technology
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: W9113M-10-P-0056
Award Amount: $99,961.00


Aqwest proposes to investigate an innovative staged magnetocaloric refrigerator (SMCR) for thermal management of spacecraft payload electronics. SMCR offers a high-performance approach for thermal management of laser communication equipment and infrared (IR) sensors, while improving the overall payload energy efficiency and reducing its weight. The proposed project will leverage previous work by Aqwest in thermal management of electro-optical equipment and offers the following major benefits for Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the Department of Defense (DOD): Improved electrical efficiency Reduced jitter Reduced weight of payload and platform Simple, compact, and lightweight hardware Materials robust to radiation ensure lifetime > 10 years In Phase I, we will validate the SMCR concept via modeling and experiments using existing magneto-caloric effect (MCE) materials and permanent magnets to show the concept potential for cooling spacecraft payloads. In particular, we will develop 3D finite element models and predict SMCR performance, scaling of temperature differential, and refrigeration power. Moreover, we will develop and characterize each a magnet assembly and a heat flow switching, which are critical elements of the SMCR, and experimentally demonstrate their performance. Plans to further develop and exploit the technology in Phase II will be developed.

Principal Investigator:

John Vetrovec

Business Contact:

Katerina Vetrovec
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

8276 Eagle Road Larkspur, CO 80118

EIN/Tax ID: 264588795
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No