Sierra Nevada Corporation Helps Juno Keep Cool

This illustration depicts NASA's Juno spacecraft at Jupiter, with its solar arrays and main antenna pointed toward the distant sun and Earth. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This illustration depicts NASA’s Juno spacecraft at Jupiter, with its solar arrays and main antenna pointed toward the distant sun and Earth. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

August 9, 2016 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is celebrating the early success of NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it stabilizes its orbit around Jupiter and begins powering on scientific instruments for data collection.

Built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado, Juno is the first solar-powered spacecraft designed to operate at such a great distance from the sun. SNC’s electronic-free thermal devices are critical to keeping the spacecraft’s temperature regulated without drawing power away from the spacecraft’s scientific payloads. The four thermal louvers open and close to regulate the temperature of the spacecraft without pulling power or needing commands from the spacecraft – ideal for long-term interplanetary missions with wide-ranging orbits, orientations and payload operations.

“SNC would like to congratulate NASA and the entire Juno team on once again successfully pushing the boundaries of science and technology,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, corporate vice president of SNC’s Space Systems business area. “Over the next several months, scientists will gain not only a better understanding of the largest planet in our solar system, but the origins of our solar system itself. Our thermal louver technology is the result of NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, proof that strong government-commercial relationships are mutually beneficial.”

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems Passive Thermal Louver is based on decades of NASA/JPL flight heritage. The louver provides thermal radiation with a pivoting aluminum blade design that is supported within a lightweight frame. The blades are driven with bimetal actuator springs that are thermally linked with the mounting surface.

Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

SNC’s Space Systems business area is based in Louisville, Colorado. SNC was chosen by Lockheed Martin in 2009 to support Juno and continues to provide thermal systems for missions today. SNC has 25+ years of space heritage and has supported more than 70 NASA missions throughout the solar system. SNC’s Space Technologies designs and manufactures a wide range of subsystems and components including launch adapters and separation systems, pointing systems and motion control and electrical power systems.