Edge Space Systems, under contract with Sigma Space, is providing senior thermal engineering and design support for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). This includes spacecraft and instrument thermal design, analysis, test support for Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and PDR to CDR (critical design review), breadboard phases CDR and instrument oversight. The lunar environment poses significant thermal design challenges due to the extreme IR flux variation from the moon.
Subsequent to launch, the TEC power supply on the SWIFT X-Ray Telescope (XRT) failed. Edge was asked to provide detailed analysis to define a set of operational maneuvers that would allow the TEC in the Focal Plane Camera Assembly (FPCA) to remain below -50°C passively. The derived methodology was applied successfully throughout the mission life.
Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL)
Edge Space Systems provided thermal analysis for the ground based Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) by determining the temperature gradient across the window assembly and compare with measured data. The gradient altered the science data raising concerns about the measurement quality. Edge provided recommendations for modifying the design of future units to minimize window gradients; the MPL project has implemented some of these recommendations successfully.
Edge Space Systems, under contract with Analex, developed thermal models of the Delta IV Upper Stage from drawings provided by Boeing. Thermodynamics models of the LOX and LH2 were also developed from data provided the by the Boeing Propulsion Group. Edge utilized Thermal Desktop with Sinda/FLUINT and Flow 3D.
A fully integrated model was successfully developed to couple the thermal and fluid aspects of the problem. The thermal models were developed from Boeing’s drawings in SINDA/FLUINT and Thermal Desktop. The GOES-N Best Estimate Trajectory (BET) was used to provide vectors input to Thermal Desktop for the orbital environment with earth infrared (IR), solar radiation, and albedo applied to the GOES payload over the trajectory. Fluids models were developed in FLUINT.
Thermal Analytical Services in support of
the Taurus Launch Vehicle Certification
Edge Space Systems, under contract with Analex, is currently providing thermal analytical services that include rapid, accurate, and complete assessments of components through the life cycle of the Taurus launch. Edge will be performing reviews of LSC provided thermal and related documents in order to ensure prompt technical assessments of all relevant issues during the certification process. Evaluation of these issues may require an independent analysis in order to verify or better understand the LSC data. Edge is evaluating LSC thermal and related analyses for compliance with applicable mission and vehicle requirements so that the NASA Vehicle Engineering Division can provide prompt assessment of component robustness. Edge shall also evaluate and provide technical assessments to NASA of the relevant LSC CDRLs, vehicle system design, testing (such as the requirement for qualification or environments), robustness in the areas of performance and reliability, and post flight data.
Edge Space Systems, under contract with Praxis, is providing engineering expertise and technical support for the design and development activities supporting thermal control design, model analysis, verification, fabrication, assembly, and test for TacSat4. Edge supports both active and passive thermal systems in the specification and modeling of thermal environments. Specific thermal engineering services include thermal concept and detailed design, analysis, hardware integration support, thermal balance/vacuum test planning and test staffing, as well as launch support. Tasks include thermal engineering for science instruments, spacecraft, and spaceflight components, as well as ground support hardware.
Edge Space Systems is providing engineering expertise and technical support for the design and analysis of a high altitude balloon. Specific thermal engineering services include the development of simplified models for purposes of performing sensitivity analyses with respect to the thermal environment, float altitude variations, balloon expansion/contraction, and material properties. A detailed model will be developed and analyzed for final temperature predictions once a final design is achieved.
The HyGrade Instrument Suite
The HyGrade Instrument suite consisted of a Hyperspectral Infrared Spectrometer, two stereo Visible Cameras, and a Data Processing Unit (DPU). The IR spectrometer is located above the DPU on a bracket which thermally isolates the cold Opto-Mechanical Subsystem from the DPU and the mounting bracket. The robust thermal design accommodated both the transient behavior of the Martian environment as well as the transient operation of the instruments and still allows a large trade space for further thermal control optimization. All components are maintained within allowable flight temperatures with significant heater power margin.