Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)

TMT actively pursues Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) projects from various departments within the government. Our company has been successful in developing technologies for spacecraft and high power electronics cooling that are readily adapted for other commercial and aerospace purposes. A sample of our SBIR projects includes:

Thermal Control Panels

SBIR managed by Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate

Thermal Management Technologies has developed Thermal Control Panel technology, which combines the heat transport capability of heat pipes with the structural integrity of a spacecraft panel into one cohesive spacecraft element. The Thermal Control Panel spacecraft structure provides advanced heat spreading to significantly lower the temperature difference around a spacecraft compared to standard materials and techniques.

The prototype hardware developed for AFRL/RV is compatible with the PnPSat-2 spacecraft structure and supports rapid assembly with advanced thermal performance. The prototype thermal-structural panels were space-qualified by TMT through a series of thermal-vacuum, structural and vibration tests. The technology is adaptable to other spacecraft uses including, but not limited to, highly-efficient fixed or deployable radiators, solar panel substrates, and spacecraft or payload heat spreading applications.

Space qualified thermal-structural panels (left) - Individual panel structural/vibration test configuration with 25 kg/panel supported mass (right)

Deployable Radiator for Spacecraft Thermal Control

SBIR managed by Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate
Phase II performed under Subcontract to our development partner LoadPath (deployment and release mechanisms)

TMT has developed a passive thermal control technology for rapidly assembled, modular spacecraft that provides a highly uniform radiator surface in conjunction with a high thermal conductance hinge. The currently developed hardware covers ranges of heat loads up to 100 watts but may be adapted for various sizes. TMT has qualified the passive thermal control hardware to TRL 6 through a series of space qualification structural and thermal-vacuum tests.

Graphic showing multiple deployable radiators in a spacecraft thermal control application

Cooling of High Power Cylindrical Objects

SBIR project managed by the Navy

TMT has successfully conducted persuasive sub-scale proof of concept tests and developed preliminary designs for a highly effective cooling technology that meets all requirements for cooling high-power, closely packed cylindrical objects. An example of the applications for this technology includes battery cooling. The approach taken by TMT involves immersing closely packed cylindrical energy storage components in a two-phase dielectric fluid with a passive thermal path resistance between heat source and heat sink that is less than one twentieth the values achievable by forced air cooling. This readily scalable approach provides uniform cooling of all component surfaces. The fluid exactly conforms to all geometries even in closely packed arrays thus enabling compact volumetric efficient designs. An example application was designed that showed cooling technology can meet even the stringent technical targets for energy storage as specified by the Naval Power Systems Technology Development Road Map and reduces the possibility of fire or thermal run-away in closely packed cylindrical energy storage components (batteries, capacitors, etc.). Requiring low maintenance and utilizing no hazardous materials, the cooling technology offers a safe, cost- and performance-effective solution that promises to find broad military and commercial application.