Penn State Researchers Receive NASA Grant

A team of researchers at Penn State has been chosen to receive a grant from NASA as part of its University SmallSat Technology Partnerships. The researchers were one of eight teams to receive the funding in NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology program.   

The Penn State team is developing thermal-controlled radiators that could enhance the capabilities of small scientific and communications satellites. 

Penn State’s team is made up of Alexander Rattner, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Christopher Greer, assistant research professor of mechanical engineering, Sven Bilén, professor of engineering design, electrical engineering, and aerospace engineering, and Reginald Hamilton, associate professor of engineering science and mechanics.

“We are seeking to develop resilient, mass-efficient, passively self-deploying radiators with embedded phase-change heat pipe networks to enable emerging small spacecraft missions operating at high power levels of hundreds of Watts,” Rattner said in a Penn State release.

According to a NASA release, “SmallSats are expected to support increasingly important and complex functions and through partnerships with industry and academia, their utility will continue to advance. Improvements in SmallSat capability will enable them to support and perform science and deep space exploration, provide space situational awareness and national security-oriented capabilities, and expand the range of services available to people on Earth for greater economic growth and societal benefit.”

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About the Author

Joe Lister

Joe is a senior journalism major at Penn State and Onward State's managing editor. He writes about everything Penn State, especially its 10-2 football team. If you want to find him, Joe's usually watching soccer with his shirt off or at the gym with his shirt on. For dumb stuff, follow him on Twitter (iamjoelister). For serious stuff, email him ([email protected]).

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