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R & D Approach

The Thermal Engineering Branch exists to develop the thermal systems needed to maintain of Goddard-sponsored instruments and spacecraft at their operating temperatures. (Where operating temperatures range from room temperature down to cryogenic temperatures.)

This usually involves two main tasks:

To accomplish this, we work with other NASA centers, with DOD, and with industry.

We continue to work on improving the available thermal technologies, to make them cheaper, lighter, and more precise. Our research focuses on technologies that are already fairly well along in development, that is, technologies that could quickly be adapted to upcoming missions.

Technology Focus

Principal areas of effort

Other efforts

Two-Phase Cooling Systems

Traditional Capillary Pumped Loop (CPL) Applications

Loop Heat Pipe Applications

Selected Technologies

Cryogenic Capillary Pumped Loops (CPLs) and Heat Pipes (allows isolation of sensor from cooler)

Generic CPLs (multiple evaporators, heat load sharing)

Variable emissivity surfaces

Advanced Conductive Heat Transfer

Phase Change Thermal Storage

Spray Cooling


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Curator: Brent Warner