ACT’s Loop Heat Pipe Achieves Highest Technology Readiness Level with Launch of TacSat-4 Satellite

Lancaster, Pennsylvania- November 7, 2011. Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) ( announced today that it’s Loop Heat Pipe and Constant Conductance Heat Pipe thermal control components have been successfully operating on-orbit aboard the United States Navy’s TacSat-4 communications satellite since October 1, 2011. This is the first satellite carrying ACT’s Loop Heat Pipe product as an integral part of the spacecraft’s thermal control system. The successful launch established the flight heritage of ACT’s Loop Heat Pipe technology and raised the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) for this product to 9, the highest level in the industry’s standard matrix.  TacSat-4 is the fifth satellite launched in this year and seventh overall carrying ACT’s satellite thermal control products.

The thermal control system components manufactured by ACT for the communications payload of the TacSat-4 satellite consist of an aluminum honeycomb payload deck with embedded Constant Conductance Heat Pipes (CCHPs) for waste heat acquisition, multiple CCHPs for radiator panels, and a Loop Heat Pipe as the thermal link between the payload deck CCHPs and the radiator CCHPs.  The Loop Heat Pipe has two parallel condensers and is capable of passively controlling the heat rejection rate in each of the two radiators to accommodate the various orbital orientations of the satellite. The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), responsible for concept development, design, assembly, test and operation of the spacecraft, confirmed that the thermal control system is performing nominally to date.

“The launch of TacSat-4 with our first Loop Heat Pipe is another major milestone for ACT’s aerospace products”, says John Hartenstine, Manager of ACT’s Aerospace Products Group.  “We look forward to continuing to supply our customers with the highest quality CCHPs, Loop Heat Pipes and other aerospace products.” The Office of Naval Research funded the TacSat-4 payload, including its thermal control system.

ACT completed and delivered the TacSat-4 thermal control system to NRL in early 2008. “We have been looking forward to the launch of TacSat-4 and are excited to see it taking off successfully”, says Peter Dussinger, ACT’s TacSat-4 Thermal Control System Program Manager.  “TacSat-4 is part of DOD’s Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) initiative.  Responsiveness to customer and market demands is also a cornerstone of ACT’s culture. We appreciate NRL’s confidence in our capabilities and giving us this opportunity.”

ACT’s Aerospace Products Group consists of members having diverse technical and manufacturing skills and is capable of solving the most demanding thermal management problems.  The team’s customer focused approach is driving rapid growth and allowing ACT to quickly become a trusted supplier of advanced research and development, thermal management consulting services and flight quality products. The group’s products are used in satellites, interplanetary spacecraft, and aircraft.

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