February 06, 2024

Carbice collaborates with RTX’s Blue Canyon Technologies for CNT spacecraft solutions

Carbice Corporation is collaborating with RTX’s subsidiary, Blue Canyon Technologies, Inc., a provider of turnkey smallsat solutions, as a key supplier of aligned carbon nanotechnology (CNT) solutions for critical spacecraft programs.

This collaboration ensures that Carbice’s aligned CNT material – Carbice Space Pad™ – will continue to be integrated into nearly all satellite solutions from RTX’s Blue Canyon Technologies. It has demonstrated on-orbit success for critical government missions and customers, and is scheduled to launch in early 2024 on MethaneSAT, an advanced methane-tracking satellite in space that will offer high-resolution quantification and tracking of total global emissions to find and fix leaks faster and document the progress.


Spacecrafts face the harshest environments for thermal management, with intense radiation, large temperature variations, and limited ways for heat to move. Carbice Space Pad is a proven and reliable thermal solution that combines high-power dissipation performance with ease of use. Traditional thermal interface materials (TIMs) such as grease and liquid silicone rubber can damage parts during assembly integration and test (AI&T) and cause delays in production.

Carbice Space Pad negates this damage and delay by saving existing material from being discarded and avoiding an increased schedule risk. By reducing and eliminating scraps due to rework and destruction, Carbice Space Pad is a more sustainable TIM that enables longer-term performance in orbit. The material is also the first fully predictable interface solution: the company’s digital tool, Carbice SIM, predicts Space Pad performance with accuracy, offering exact pressure distribution analysis and saving thermal vacuum testing time.

Aligned carbon nanotubes have recently been recognized by the U.S. Department of Defense as a “technology of special interest” for mission critical applications in U.S. security systems. On July 14, 2023, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee passed the 2024 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) in a 58-1 bipartisan committee vote that elevated aligned CNTs as a special interest technology, leading to further exploration in its use for aerospace & defense, as well as industrial power and data applications which are critical to national security.

Previously in use on the International Space Station, Carbice Space Pad has also shown demonstrated success on satellites in LEO, GEO orbits, and constellations, such as those that share critical images from Ukraine. Beyond space, the Carbice ® Pads are used in compute and power applications on Earth, a fast-growing application area.

“This is a natural collaboration for us: as innovators in aerospace manufacturing, collaborating with the deep tech trailblazers at Carbice strengthens our ability to launch quickly, launch well, and expand the limits of what’s possible in space,” said Jennifer Cech Young, Director of Thermal Systems Engineering at Blue Canyon Technologies. “Dr. Baratunde Cola and his team of pioneers have helped enable that speed and mission with Carbice Space Pad and Carbice SIM. The Carbice team have been true collaborators from the start, and critical satellite programs have launched successfully in part due to our integration of Space Pad. In our experience, aligned CNTs from Carbice are the most reliable advanced material for managing thermal systems, and we are thrilled to continue using it on nearly all Blue Canyon satellites moving forward.”

The team at Blue Canyon Technologies have been at the forefront of spacecraft innovation from the start – and we are always proud to collaborate with fellow pioneers.

Dr. Baratunde Cola
Carbice CEO and Founder.

“As deep tech innovators with a proven critical material for aerospace and defense applications, this is a natural collaboration that will allow both our companies to continue to innovate and build stronger spacecraft solutions. To have Carbice Space Pad on MethaneSAT and nearly all Blue Canyon satellites moving forward is an immensely exciting achievement for our own team of pioneers and the larger community that supports us.”

First published on SatNews here.