ACT Ships Thermal Management Flight Hardware For NASA's VIPER Moon Rover
Wednesday, May 31st, 2023– Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. – announces it has shipped four (4) embedded heat pipe honeycomb panels and two (2) bulkheads. These parts make up the “warm box”, a thermal and structural sub-assembly that houses the critical electronics and control systems.
The warm box will ultimately couple with large radiator panels along the top and sides of the 1,000-pound Moon rover to fully reject the waste heat. In addition to heat rejection, the coupling will feature passive thermal control, allowing the system to survive the extended cold periods that will be experienced on the 100-day lunar mission.
The Lancaster-based company has been working on this program for over three (3) years, developing the complete thermal architecture alongside NASA structural and systems engineering teams. The final system includes highly engineered thermal control solutions (Loop Heat Pipes w/ thermal control valves) to sustain operation during lunar night, in addition to traditional space flight technologies (CCHPs, honeycomb panels, etc.) used to transport and reject heat. All parts are customized for the unique geometries and mission profiles of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER). While these specific components have been in development for three years, the technology has been in development for over a decade, showing the ultimate success of NASA’s Small Business Innovative Research funding, leading to flight hardware on this critically important mission.
ACT’s Product Development Manager, Orbital Systems, Ryan Spangler, states “This is another exciting program to be part of it really shows our engineering and manufacturing talent of system-level capabilities wrapped up into one project, and what’s better than a moon rover?”
ACT has a combination of thermal engineering expertise and high-quality, space-worthy flight hardware manufacturing. This program included dynamic requirements as the mission profile, structure and thermal system were being evaluated. This milestone delivery was made possible with extreme collaboration between NASA and ACT. Thermal management in extreme environments is nothing new for this group of specialists as they have collaborated with NASA for other high-profile missions including Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, Europa Clipper Mission, DART, and thermal solutions onboard the International Space Station.
Through NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, the agency contracted Astrobotic of Pittsburgh to deliver VIPER to the South Pole of the Moon in November 2024. VIPER contributes to NASA’s efforts to partner with commercial lunar delivery services to the surface of the Moon using emerging commercial landers to deliver ready-to-fly payloads. (Source: https://www.nasa.gov/viper)
About Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) is a premier thermal management solutions company, providing design and manufacturing services to meet our customers’ needs across all points of the product lifecycle. We serve our global customers’ thermal management and energy recovery needs in diverse industries including Defense, Aerospace, Electronics, HVAC, Medical, Enclosure Cooling, and Calibration Equipment. We specialize in providing innovative and performance-optimized thermal management technologies and solutions that meet the unique needs of each customer.