ACT Delivers Critical Thermal Management System for NASA VIPER Mission
Lancaster, Pennsylvania – October 24th, 2023, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), a leading provider of innovative thermal management solutions, is proud to announce the successful completion and delivery of the Thermal Management System (TMS) designed for NASA’s VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) mission. This significant achievement marks the culmination of a multi-year development that began at the concept stage and culminated in the delivery of essential flight hardware, solidifying ACT’s commitment to advancing space exploration.
ACT’s team embarked on the ambitious journey to help NASA’s VIPER “Survive Lunar Night”, which includes extended dark periods where temperatures drop to liquid nitrogen levels. Through intensive engineering efforts and qualification regimens, ACT completed the program and has shipped this one-of-a-kind TMS to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for final integration into the VIPER flight vehicle.
The heart of the TMS is comprised of four Loop Heat Pipes (LHPs) and four radiators. The LHPs within the TMS have been engineered to remove excess heat generated by the rover’s science instruments and avionics during its lunar exploration. These innovative heat pipes act as the circulatory system of the thermal control mechanism, efficiently transporting heat away from critical components. The heat is then rejected into the unforgiving lunar environment through the four radiators, preventing overheating and ensuring the rover’s longevity.
One of the TMS’s standout features is the integration of ACT’s exclusive, passive thermal control valves on each LHP. These valves allow for precise heat management by temporarily turning off heat rejection. This unique capability enables the science instruments and avionics to remain warm and functional during the frigid lunar shadow periods, a critical factor in the rover’s ability to survive and accomplish the mission. Additionally, cross-linking Constant Conductance Heat Pipes (CCHPs) were designed and built to provide redundancy and additional thermal transport. While CCHPs are widely used in the space community, these were specifically designed to take advantage of the partial gravity assist found on the Moon, allowing both high heat transport and the ability to manage vibration as they link two discrete surfaces of the rover together.
Throughout the development process, ACT maintained a close and collaborative working relationship with NASA engineers. This partnership was instrumental in ensuring that the Thermal Management System met NASA’s stringent requirements and specifications. ACT’s commitment to excellence and dedication to delivering reliable hardware further solidify its reputation as a trusted partner in the space exploration community.
Bryan Muzyka, VP of Sales and Marketing, expressed his excitement about this milestone, saying, “The successful development and delivery of the Thermal Management System for the NASA VIPER mission, exemplifies ACT’s unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of thermal management technology in support of space exploration. We are honored to have worked with NASA on this mission and are extremely proud of the large team that worked on this program. We look forward to witnessing VIPER’s groundbreaking discoveries on the lunar surface.”
The delivery of the Thermal Management System is a testament to ACT’s innovation, dedication, and expertise in the field of thermal management. As space exploration endeavors continue to evolve, ACT will remain at the forefront, providing cutting-edge solutions to meet the unique challenges of the cosmos. For more information about Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc., and its contributions to space exploration, visit https://www.1-act.com/industries/space/
About Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT)
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) is a leading provider of thermal management solutions for a variety of industries, including aerospace, defense, electronics, and energy. With a commitment to innovation and excellence, ACT has a proven track record of delivering state-of-the-art thermal management solutions to meet the most demanding requirements. ACT’s contributions to space exploration and other critical industries continue to drive technological advancements and shape the future.