April 22, 2024

Cost Savings & Predictable Performance Benefits of Carbon Nanotube Satellite Thermal Interface Solutions


We present an analysis of the cost savings and performance benefits delivered by a predictable carbon nanotube-based thermal gasket – Carbice® Space Pad™, for spacecraft builds. We show a >60% net savings in the Assembly Integration & Test (AI&T) and Thermal cost in a typical satellite build, supported by an independent analysis performed by a large space prime. Based on this analysis, a projected $1.13 billion in cost savings for Department of Defense’s Satcom budget may be extracted by using carbon nanotube-based gaskets for all satellite assembly interfaces. This carbonnanotube-based thermal gasket delivers valuable labor cost savings and performance improvement by taking advantage of a unique combination of excellent thermal properties and mechanical properties as a result of its structure – vertically aligned carbon nanotube forests bonded to both sides of an Aluminum core. The aligned carbon nanotubes not only provide high through-plan thermal conductivity, but their elasticity also allow reliable thermal contact during cycling, providing low thermal resistance in application. The Aluminum core keeps nanotubes intact and enables a form factor that is easy-to-use and fully reworkable, while contributing to in-plane thermal conductivity. The resulting thermal gasket is operable over a wide range of interface pressures, ranging from very low pressure up to over 1000 psi. This combination of thermal and mechanical properties allows satellite designers to incorporate full functionality into the system payload without the limitation of existing thermal solutions.


Carbice is the material for pioneers.™

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