Mainstream Engineering Awarded Contract from NASA for an Extreme Temperature Vapor Compression Heat Pump
NASA needs a dramatically improved thermal management system for use in the equatorial lunar environment, where surface temperatures can vary between ‑300°F and 212°F. To address this problem, Mainstream has been contracted to develop a vapor compression (VC) thermal management system suitable for long-duration operation in this harsh lunar equatorial environment. The objective of this NASA contract is to design and demonstrate the key enabling technologies needed to produce a fully functioning system. The most significant technological innovation needed is the development of a highly reliable microgravity compressor. Mainstream has tremendous experience in this area having developed high-G compressors for military aircraft as well as the development of the refrigerant compressor used in the refrigerated centrifuge on the International Space Station. Mainstream’s approach leverages their experience with spaceflight-proven microgravity compressors and has the potential to benefit any space-based thermal control system including manned lunar habitat climate control, food preservation freezers, low lunar orbit missions, and Venus exploration missions.
About Mainstream Engineering Corporation
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a 33-year-old Brevard County, Florida manufacturer with a history of leading-edge research and development that has resulted in advanced cost-competitive products, which are made in the USA. Founded in 1986, Mainstream’s mission is to transition advanced R&D into high-quality, environmentally safe, green, commercial products using lean manufacturing techniques. Areas of research include thermal control, energy conversion, power electronics, biomass conversion, chemical technology, and materials science.