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What distinguishes Thermal Space Ltd. from other companies claiming to be qualified suppliers of thermal straps and other thermal-management hardware?
Experience is our backbone (we have nearly 50-years combined aerospace thermal experience in our founders alone!) and we don’t hide our credentials; we want to speak with you in detail about your thermal needs along with our capabilities and experience right from the moment you first contact us. The Web can be a maze of misleading information and false advertising to lead you in. We stand behind our products and engineering services because we will give you straight answers from the start. Check us out and then compare us to any competitors. It’s the people and their experience that make the company.
Sadly, it really is consumer beware!
With specialized technology such as thermal and cryogenic engineering, components, and systems, it is imperative that when you make contact with any potential supplier you first ask to speak with an experienced engineer; don’t expect to get reliable information from a self-proclaimed “expert” or “worlds largest supplier” Even if they were why would they need to make such statements and where is the data to back it up? . When you do talk with someone representing a company, not only ask about the technical capabilities related to your project, but also inquire about the specific background and technical experience of the person(s) you make contact with. If a qualified engineer with years of expereince is not immediately available to discuss the relevant technical details of your project, that is a big red flag!
If you need hardware for use in space, ask if you can speak with someone that has space flight qualification experience and what specific hardware they as individuals have previously qualified and how it was qualified.
At Thermal Space, who we are as a company, and just as importantly as individuals, will always be completely transparent for our potential customers to evaluate our engineering and hardware competence. We have more experience in qualifying thermal hardware for use is space systems than most companies out there, certainly any in our geographical area. You are spending good money for a quality thermal solution and so you deserve to know exactly who you are dealing with.
What products/skills do you offer?
TSL is a full service thermal management engineering company (from specification to verification and integration). We have knowledge and experience that covers a wide range of engineering and hardware solutions. Our engineering staff has been involved with:
- Cryocooler interfacing and integration
- Cryostat and Dewar development and fabrication
- Novel cryocooler design and proof of concept
- Vapor compression refrigeration for commercial and military electronics
- Electronics equipment cooling (local and broad scale)
- Distributed cooling at heat producing components on circuit boards and for personal cooling devices
- Flexible passive thermal straps
- Carbon (graphite)
- Heat pipe/vapor chamber integration, including combinations with thermal straps
- Powdered bulk cryogenic insulation materials for us in cryogenic systems
- Performance and economic enhancements
- Additives for improved performance
- Multi-layer cryogenic insulation design, analysis, and installation
- Vacuum systems for long term thermal control
- Thermal-acoustic insulation panels
- Cold plate design and interfacing
- Thermal interface materials
- Phase change materials (PCM) and heat exchangers
- Active liquid cooling loops (conventional refrigerants and cryogens)
- Flexible transition across moving axes
- Multiple location cooling
- Large area distributed cooling
- Spacecraft fuel tank design and insulation systems
- Cryogenic cooling plant design for advanced Free-electron Laser Systems
- Specification (Spec) and Statement of Work (SOW) development for many thermal systems and components
Do you have any general information I can look over?
Yes, we have quite a few references available; please ask depending upon your needs. For example, we have a thermal conductance primer that covers the basics of how thermal performance of a thermal strap is defined and verified. We also routinely provide a sample specification and statement of work that is geared towards our products.
In addition, we have published articles on past projects, plus some white papers on aspects of design and specification, technology development, material properties, etc.
I need a thermal strap for my application. What info should I gather?
To give you a complete and realistic assessment for your application, we will need:
- Operating temperature
- Heat/power to be moved
- Acceptable temperature drop
- Stiffness/compliance requirements
- At least an idea of the distance and orientation of the heat source and sink regions, plus the available area and mounting provisions at both ends
- Direction and range of motion between interfaces
- Whether or not multiple units can be used to reach your requirements
- Number of units required
QA requirements (if known, otherwise if this is demonstration or flight hardware) are valued, but not necessary with your initial inquiry.
What kind of thermal strap (materials, etc.) is right for me?
It depends on the operating temperature, required thermal conductance, stiffness/compliance, schedule and budget concerns, etc. That’s where the knowledge and experience of TSL’s engineering team comes into play. Our engineers have heritage back to the first high-performance space-qualified thermal straps that were built to interface mechanical cryocoolers to delicate instrument systems and we have continued to build on that technology for the past 25+ years.
What makes your thermal straps superior?
First, we are not salesmen trying to package your needs into our products. We are engineers that over the past three decades have been at the forefront of thermal strap development for use in space and other applications; this includes aluminum, copper, and carbon-based technologies (please feel free to ask for references). By understanding your application, whether simple or complex, we can begin the process to determine the optimum thermal strap configuration. If you can get by with low-cost commercially available units, we will let you know and direct you to those sources, so that you do not spend valuable money and resources on something you don’t need. If we do design, fabricate, and test thermal straps for you it will be based upon the best available technology, understanding your complete needs (performance, cost, and schedule) and to the highest level of quality without compromise.
What information should I put into my Spec and SOW?
Details that are relevant to your application, but only what is necessary and can be verified at your incoming inspection. TSL has a sample Spec and SOW that we can provide you, plus we will help you to write a Spec and SOW that is complete and enforceable.
How do you verify the products you produce?
As standard verification, we will perform internal dimension inspections and thermal performance tests. This is our first-level verification that the hardware produced conforms to the design and performance requirements. If you have more comprehensive verification required (CMM inspection, shock & vibe, stiffness, etc.), let us know and we will incorporate it into our assessment and quotation process.
How do we handle quality issues and concerns?
TSL’s Quality Management System (QMS) is compliant with AS9100C. We have many internal documents that cover design, project management, calibration, testing, anomalies, non-conforming material, etc. If you need more specific instructions and inspection points to conform to your own QA requirements, TSL can write project specific documents that will deal with your individual needs. These will be part of the delivered QA package with the hardware.