Fluid Engineering for SpaceChillin' on Mars
Pacific Design Technologies has a long history of participation
Mars Science Laboratory
PDT provided three pump packages for the mission, including the Rover Integrated Pump Assembly which is installed in the Curiosity rover. These three components circulate liquid coolant to maintain critical electronics on board the spacecraft and rover within a tight temperature range. The use of a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) system for this mission allows the spacecraft designers greater flexibility in component placement and reduces overall power consumption compared to traditional electric heating systems.
PDT has been selected to provide one flight set of hardware for the upcoming Mars 2020 mission, currently under development by NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory. PDT’s equipment will consist of the same articles provided for the Mars Science Laboratory project, including the Rover Integrated Pump Assembly used on the Curiosity rover. For the Mars 2020 project, a similar rover will be landed, but it will be equipped with a new instrumentation suite designed to meet the science objectives of the mission.
AMS-02 Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
In service on the International space station since May 19, 2011, the AMS-02 Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector is being used by an international team to evaluate high energy cosmic rays for evidence of dark matter, antimatter and other phenomena that cannot be detected by traditional telescopes. For this important science project, PDT provided a set of Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) hardware which is used in a unique thermal control system to maintain the temperature of the sensitive detectors which are at the heart of the AMS-02 instrument.
Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) Demonstrator
PDT provided a set of pumps and accumulation aircraft solutions to NASA-Goddard Flight Center that were used for on-orbit demonstrations of advanced robotic satellite refueling technologies. The Robotic Refueling Mission is a multi-phased technology demonstration program using the unique platform of the International Space Station to test tools,
Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Pathfinder
The success of the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) and the Mars Pathfinder (Sojourner) provided the technical foundation which facilitated the implementation of the larger and more capable Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity) program. For both programs, PDT provided an Integrated Pumping Unit which was used during the