International Space Station – Today, NASA will begin to calibrate the components of its Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) program, successfully delivered and installed this month on the International Space Station – a process made possible by revolutionary carbon fiber heat management system designed and manufactured by California’s KULR Technology.
“We have been very proud of our long-term collaboration with NASA on the game-changing use of carbon fiber as a thermal management and cooling solution,” said KULR CEO Michael Mo. “To know that our product is in orbit, right now, having played such a key role in this great program is deeply rewarding for our team.”
KULR’s proprietary carbon fiber design was commissioned by NASA for the NICER mission to solve a specific problem – the risk of rapid and excessive cooling of the sensitive NICER instruments while they were disconnected from electrical power during transfer from the launch vehicle to the International Space Station. The transfer, which was scheduled to last up to six hours, was completed June 11.
KULR CTO Dr. Timothy R. Knowles and KULR VP of Engineering, Mike Carpenter, led the team to build two flight phase change heat sinks for the NICER transfer – Avionics Dec (A-deck) and Instrument Deck (I-Deck). The KULR heat sinks provided latent heat capacity and were integrated into their respective mounting decks to save weight and space compared with attaching a separate heat sink to a structural deck. The A-deck provided >900 kJ of latent heat and >12 kJ/°C sensible heat frozen (>14k J/°C melted). The I-deck provided >600 kJ of latent heat and >9 kJ/°C sensible heat frozen (>10.8 kJ/°C melted).
Of note, the KULR components of the NICER payload were delivered by the Space-X Dragon 9 rocket, the first commercial re-used spacecraft. The payload was launched aboard the Dragon on June 3 from Florida. According to NASA, NICER will provide high-precision measurements of neutron stars, objects containing ultra-dense matter at the threshold of collapse into black holes.
“Carbon fiber cooling and heat management solutions like the one we designed for NASA’s NICER are a mind-blowing product,” Mo said. “They are lighter, take less space and work far more effectively than any other known thermal management product.”
In addition to the successful NICER deployment, KULR has adapted the carbon fiber technology for use with partners across a variety of platforms including aerospace, energy storage and safety, electric vehicles, microprocessors and robotics, medical equipment and consumer devices such as VR headsets and smart phones.
“Anyone with a heat management issue, space or weight issue – which is just about everyone in technology or energy – can benefit from our using carbon fiber in their systems,” Mo said. “If it’s good enough for NASA, it’s more than good enough.”
Founded in California by some of the foremost experts in aerospace thermal management, KULR is joined by industry veterans in semiconductor and industrial manufacturing. The company’s investors and advisors include industry leaders from US, Japan, and China in the field of electrical vehicles, energy storage, communications, and semiconductors. KULR’s proprietary carbon fiber-based solutions are lighter, higher performance and more compliant than traditional solutions. Some applications of KULR’s carbon fiber material include space exploration, electric vehicles, cameras and laser displays, robotics, servers and data systems, power storage and consumer electronics. https://www.kulrtechnology.com