ESA contract and SNSA grant enables APR Technologies to perform Thermal Switch demonstration in space

Jun 2, 2022 | News, Press release, Space | 0 comments

Enköping, Sweden, 2 June 2022

APR Technologies recently signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) and received a grant from Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA) for a total value of 6,5 million SEK. The purpose of the funding is to perform an in-orbit demonstration of the Thermal Switch that has been developed for the Airbus Eurostar Neo geostationary telecom satellite product family. 

This project allows APR Technologies to build a recurrent thermal switch that is completely unique. The company will also develop and manufacture surrounding test functions that will control the thermal load and the switch, as well as measure the performance of the switch. The complete experiment, including the development of the switch, will be integrated into a satellite operated by a service provider that offers these types of in-orbit demonstration opportunities to space product manufacturers or users. 

The target launch date for this exciting milestone project is the third quarter 2023, and a two-year flight is baselined in a sun-synchronous, low-earth orbit. Performance results of the switch will be available shortly after the launch and then observed during the two years in orbit when the switch will be subject to the space environment, especially radiation and vacuum. 

The Thermal Switch is based on APR Technologie’s patented electrohydrodynamic (EHD) technology, which is also used for pumping liquid into other types of thermal control applications. The switch is presently experiencing a terrestrial qualification program. The in-orbit demonstration will further test and validate the technology and the product. With this project, APR Technologies will contribute to opening up the international space market and providing, for instance, an important basis for use in telecommunications satellites or spacecraft landing on Mars or the Moon.

We are excited to have our unique EHD-based thermal switch product launched into space, after a long time of development and tough qualifications and certifications”, says Henrik Löfgren, Senior Electronics Engineer, Space Products at APR Technologies. 

Henrik continues:

This will further increase trust in our technology, and it is an important step toward growing the supply of our thermal switches and pumped loops for the space market. High-power density telecom satellites for megaconstellations and vehicles on Mars and the Moon require improved thermal performance which our innovative products will enable.

APR’s Thermal Switch enables imminent change of thermal conductivity between an external panel or radiator of the satellite/spacecraft and its interior. The switch either conducts or isolates, depending on the orientation towards the sun, which improves the overall thermal dissipation capability and control.


For more information, contact: 

Kerstin Jonsson, VP Space division


About APR Technologies:

APR Technologies was founded in 2011 and is a global supplier of leading edge solutions for thermal management on systems ranging from industrial applications to spacecrafts. The headquarters is located in Enköping, Sweden, one hour drive from Arlanda airport and the Swedish capital, Stockholm. APR Technologies’ American partner is located in Seattle, Washington.

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