GrafTech International today announced that its Engineered Solutions (ES) business segment has won another contract to provide thermal management solutions in support of space research and exploration.
The latest project is the LEONIDAS (Low Earth Orbiting Nanosatellite Integrated Defense Autonomous System) program, which is a venture of the Hawaii Space Flight Lab (HSFL) and the state of Hawaii, under contract to the Operationally Responsive Space Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Nanosatellites are microsatellites, which are miniaturized artificial satellites of low mass and size, usually under 100 kg (220 lbs). They provide many benefits over large-sized ones, including significant cost savings, design efficiencies and the ability to complete missions that larger satellites cannot accomplish.
The LEONIDAS project has three stages, each with a different LEO motor that will provide axial propulsion for the launch vehicle. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd stages use LEO-46, LEO-7 and LEO-1 rocket motors, respectively, which are designed and produced by Aerojet, a GenCorp company headquartered in Sacramento, California. GrafTech is supplying the carbon/carbon insert for each motor. The vehicle’s first flight test, which will include a payload, is planned for the second half of 2013.
The advanced material products and solutions for this space project were developed and manufactured by a subsidiary of GrafTech’s Engineered Solutions' segment based in Maine.
GrafTech Chairman & CEO Craig Shular commented, “Our ES business segment continues to leverage GrafTech’s R&D expertise in developing and executing innovative material science solutions for a wide range of industries. We look forward to seeing ES grow its capabilities in 2013 and beyond.”