Isothermal Satellite Panels and Inter-Panel Connections

Award Information
Department of Defense
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Thermal Management Technologies
1575 North 600 East, Suite 100, North Logan, UT, -
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
J. Clair Batty
VP Research
(435) 797-4371
Business Contact:
Forrest Fackrell
VP Business Operations
(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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