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Isothermal Satellite Panels and Inter-Panel Connections

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: N/A
Contract: FA9453-10-C-0053
Agency Tracking Number: F083-217-0708
Amount: $710,887.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF083-217
Solicitation Number: 2008.3
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-03-11
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2012-06-10
Small Business Information
1575 North 600 East, Suite 100
North Logan, UT -
United States
DUNS: 848698135
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 J. Clair Batty
 VP Research
 (435) 797-4371
Business Contact
 Forrest Fackrell
Title: VP Business Operations
Phone: (435) 797-4642
Research Institution

Thermal Management Technologies (TMT) will team with Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory to design, model, build, test, and demonstrate a full scale engineering prototype of an isothermal satellite bus enabled by TMT’s proprietary Channel Panel™ heat spreader technology and high performance inter-panel connections. The proposed work, to be carried out over two years, is based on a very successful Phase I feasibility study by the same team. It is anticipated that the modular isothermal panels will be fabricated from high performance carbon fiber composite material designed for low thermal expansion, low mass, and high structural integrity. A simple “pegboard” configuration will allow payload components to be bolted directly to the panels and facilitate simple bolted connections between panels. The proposed schedule includes subjecting both the prototype modular panels and assembled prototype satellite bus to appropriate 1-g thermal testing in vacuum chambers and vibration testing. Based on Phase I results, there is a high level of confidence that Phase II technical objectives will be realized. BENEFIT: This project is focused directly on military applications including rapid response spacecraft that may be quickly configured from modular isothermal structural panels. The engineering prototype resulting from the proposed effort will help enable the very aggressive “six day satellite” concept. In addition, the proposed technology will have application in commercial space where small satellites with inherently low thermal mass typically expose sensitive payload components to broad temperature swings. Because the proposed approach greatly simplifies the thermal analysis and thermal control measures required, very sizable markets are anticipated in commercial space. In addition, the proposed effort is complementary to a parallel TMT programs focused on terrestrial applications of the Channel Panel™ heat spreader technology including cooling of: data/server centers, Li-Ion batteries, printed circuit boards, and LED arrays. Another potential military application, for which a white paper has been submitted to the Office of Naval Research, is the cooling of amphibious ships’ decks heated by exhaust plumes of short take-off vertical landing aircraft.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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