LANCASTER, Pa., March 19, 2013 /CNW/ - When NASA's latest earth-observation satellite, the Landsat Data Continuity (LDCM) mission launched into orbit on February 11, it carried some of the world's most advanced space technology – including mission-critical cooling components from k Technology, a Division of Thermacore, Inc. (www.thermacore.com), a leading provider of advanced thermal solutions.
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Once thoroughly tested in orbit, the satellite will be known as Landsat 8 and will be operated by the U.S. Geological Survey. Landsat 8 is intended to monitor environmental, natural and man-made changes to the Earth's surface using two sensitive data-collecting instruments, the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS). Thermal management, to preserve the accuracy and life of these high-tech devices, is crucial to the success of the mission, which is expected to last several years. Throughout the Landsat 8 mission, internal heat generated by the satellite's electronics must continually be rejected to the cold and vacuum of outer space, with maintenance and adjustments being impossible after launch.
To meet this difficult thermal challenge, while maintaining a strict launch schedule, NASA called upon Thermacore's expertise and unique thermal management technologies to create three thermal solutions designed to help the TIRS instrument operate at peak efficiency.
One of the three solutions is a thermal spreader constructed from k-Core® Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite (APG) encapsulated within aluminum. The thermal spreader will dissipate heat quickly, and reduces high temperatures and variations in temperature, while keeping the delicate TIRS instrumentation significantly cooler than a traditional aluminum-based thermal design.
The TIRS components will also be protected by two additional Thermacore solutions that supply both thermal management and structural support. The first is a thermal bracket that conducts the heat from the approximately 185K telescope to its radiator. The second is a large cryocooler supporting bracket providing high heat conductance and strong support to ensure consistent thermal performance throughout the mission. In creating this component, Thermacore engineers fashioned a lightweight, high-integrity 20-pound bracket from 400 pounds of encapsulated APG.
In addition to providing these advanced thermal technology solutions, Thermacore was also selected for their ability to meet a challenging schedule with tight deadlines. "We are honored that NASA has selected Thermacore to assist in such an important environmental mission. NASA knew they could count on us to deliver our solutions when TIRS itself was delivered," said Mark Montesano, Vice President, Engineering, Thermacore k Technology Division. "Because thermal management is so essential to the mission's success, our thermal components had to be tested and ready for launch when everything else was – there was no margin for error."
Thermacore's k Technology division is currently providing APG-based solutions for a number of aerospace, satellite and military applications as well as for LDCM. For more information about Thermacore and its thermal management solutions, please visit www.thermacore.com, or visit Thermacore's Design Center at www.thermacore.com/design-center.
Founded in 1970, Thermacore specializes in the custom design, development, and manufacturing of highly engineered thermal management systems and components for a variety of OEM applications across a diversified set of global markets that includes Military/Aerospace, Computer, Communication, Electronics, Energy Storage and Conversion, Medical Device and Equipment, Temperature Calibration, Transportation/Automotive, and Test Equipment.
With the widest range of thermal and material technologies in the industry and over 40 years of experience in the design, development, and manufacturing of advanced thermal solution products, Thermacore brings unparalleled engineering design expertise and thermal solution performance, quality, and reliability to these markets. Thermacore's broad thermal management technology portfolio includes: advanced solid conduction assemblies using the k-Core® Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite (APG) system, passive two-phase systems (heat pipes, vapor chambers, loop heat pipes), liquid cooled cold plates, pumped liquid cooling systems, aluminum vacuum brazements (cold plates, heat exchangers, and chassis's), pumped two-phase systems, and enclosure heat exchangers.
Thermacore has developed product solutions for mission-critical applications with heat transfer rates ranging from less than 1 milliwatt to 1 Gigawatt, in temperature ranges of less than 10K to 3000 degrees C, heat fluxes exceeding 2000 Watts/cm2, and pressures ranging from 10-11 Torr to 20,000 psi. Thermacore design and manufacturing capabilities include, but are not limited to:
- Outcomes-driven Program Management
- Engineering Design: 3D CAD/Solid Modeling, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), and Finite Element Analysis (FEA), and Proprietary Software Application Codes
- Prototype Fabrication and Thermal/Mechanical/Material Validation Testing
- Product Pre-Production and Qualification
- Repetitive Production
Thermacore employs more than 180 employees at 5 facilities located in the United States (Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania, and Ronkonkoma Long Island, New York) and the United Kingdom (Ashington, Northumberland). Thermacore facilities are certified to AS 9100 Rev C., ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 quality standards. For information about Thermacore, visit www.thermacore.com.
SOURCE: Thermacore, Inc.
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