KULR Technology Group Inc (OTCQB:KULR), which has famously provided breakthrough cooling solutions for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) deep space missions, announced Thursday that its innovative carbon fiber thermal management solutions will now be used on the upcoming NASA Jet Propulsion 2020 Mars mission as part of a rover named Perseverance.
NASA plans to launch Perseverance in July and the space agency is making final preparations for the complex scientific mission to look for signs of ancient microbial life.
For the Mars mission, Campbell, California-based KULR will provide “crucial thermal management” for vital components in the rover as part of the SHERLOC (scanning habitable environment with raman & luminescence for organics & chemicals) equipment.
The KULR solution includes custom-designed phase change heat sinks designed to absorb and mitigate rapid temperature changes, keeping sensitive components such as lasers and sensors within desired temperature ranges to avoid signal distortion or other complications.
During the 2020 Mars Mission, SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover’s robotic arm and use spectrometers, a laser, and a camera to search for organics and minerals that may be signs of past microbial life.
“Detecting life on Mars has profound implications that can change how humanity perceives its place in the universe,” said KULR Technology CTO Timothy Knowles.
“Leveraging discoveries from past Mars missions, the 2020 Perseverance incorporates the most advanced engineering design to improve entry, descent, landing, camera, and sensor capability. The same is true for thermal design. Perseverance represents the apex of aerospace engineering and KULR is happy to be part of its history,” added Dr Knowles, who has worked on NASA projects for decades.
The KULR design in the “SHERLOC” project is a unique and highly effective phase-change system that incorporates KULR’s proprietary, highly conductive vertical carbon fiber architecture with a material similar to wax that can change from solid to liquid while absorbing high amounts of heat energy.
A pair of KULR heat sinks were designed to accept 5400 joules of heat for over one-hour operating time while keeping the temperature of the spectrometer detector within design limits. All the components, including KULR’s heat sinks, will be expected to last at least one Mars year — about 687 days on Earth.
“The KULR team has been an essential part of many of our projects in the last two decades,” said Mike Pauken, spacecraft thermal systems engineer at the Jet Propulsion Lab.
“We’re happy to be working with them and incorporating their thermal solutions as part of the SHERLOC instrument on the upcoming Mars 2020 Rover Mission.”
Long-standing ties with NASA
This is not the first time KULR is providing a breakthrough solution on a high-profile NASA mission. In 2017, KULR designed a system to keep the components from freezing during NASA’s NICER mission which explored deep space neutron stars.
In 2019, NASA used KULR’s passive propagation resistant (PPR) solution to protect laptop computers onboard the International Space Station.
Over years of work, KULR’s Dr Knowles and his team have designed more than “100 different heat management configurations” for NASA and other aerospace and commercial customers, said the company.
KULR technology grew its diversified customer base from 13 to 28 customers in 2019.
Backed by a strong intellectual property portfolio, KULR enables leading aerospace, electronics, and electric vehicle manufacturers to make their products cooler, lighter and safer for the consumer.
Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
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