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Ferrofluidic Thermal Switch

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2013 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Physical Optics Corporation
1845 West 205th Street Torrance, CA 90501-1510
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2013
Title: Ferrofluidic Thermal Switch
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-13-C-5175
Award Amount: $750,000.00


ABSTRACT: Addressing the Air Force need for game-changing heat switch technologies providing thermal management of heat-sensitive payload on spacecraft, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to advance the development of the new Ferrofluidic Thermal Switch (FTS) system successfully proven feasible in Phase I. The FTS system is based on the novel use of ferrofluid in a dual role as the heat-conductive medium and part of the actuation mechanism to provide an active thermal switch for reconfigurable thermal control for spacecraft. In Phase I, POC designed and developed a modular FTS prototype and experimentally demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed approach. In Phase II, POC will optimize the design of the FTS system for space applications, develop and fabricate two functional prototypes, and test their performance. POC will demonstrate the FTS system's capability to control the thermal flux, ability to reconfigure for different payloads, and ability to meet the stringent requirements of the thermal switch for spacecraft. Thermal performance of the FTS system will be tested and evaluated. Implementation of the FTS system will result in simplifying the thermal design of spacecraft and reducing the time from development to launch. These features will support"on-demand"space missions and the Operationally Responsive Space concept. BENEFIT: A central element of spacecraft design has been thermal design. With thermal loads doubling every 5.5 years, thermal issues will limit the capabilities of next-generation spacecraft. The FTS system will enable the Air Force to produce the thermal design of spacecraft tailored to specific payload requirements. It will enable the use of standardized thermal buses and speedy fabrication of satellites configured for"on-demand"missions; the cost of such development will be significantly reduced due to decreased time for system development and testing.

Principal Investigator:

Oleg Galkin
Senior Scientist
(310) 320-3088

Business Contact:

Gordon Drew
Chief Financial Officer
(310) 320-3088
Small Business Information at Submission:

Physical Optics Corporation
1845 W. 205th Street Torrance, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 330118051
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No