“I am working on exciting projects that are just plain Out of This World!” That is the sentiment we hear so often from our engineers, says Jennifer Crean, CEO of CREAN Inc. The reason is that they are doing just that. CREAN engineers have developed critical elements of multiple aspects of interplanetary probes that are visiting or will be visiting the earth’s moon, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter. Plus, we are providing support to our clients who are developing the some of the launch vehicles that will deliver them.
Our subject matter experts are helping develop critical elements for the Mars 2020 rover Perseverance which has a launch window in the summer of 2020. Although CREAN does not build components for these amazing vehicles, we do provide expertise to help analyze and test for the rough dynamics experienced by the rover during launch, to System Safety specialists who ensure the rockets NASA launches deliver their payloads reliably, to the communications systems that will deliver instructions to the rover and data back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We even have helped in developing and testing the paints and coatings that help provide thermal properties that keep the rover just the right temperature.
The harsh environment in space can be very tough on spacecraft whether it is the electronics being subjected to high energy electrons, protons and other radiation or the surface coatings which degrade in these harsh environments.
Our radiation specialists are analyzing and designing mitigations for the high radiation environments that can occur on the way to the moon and while on the moon. Here on earth, sometimes electronics can be impacted by solar flares that jet high energy particles through space and impact the earth. But the earth’s magnetic field captures high energy electrons and protons in the Van Allen radiation belts, keeping many of these energetic particles from wreaking havoc on electronics as well as our environment, especially the earth’s atmosphere. Radiation analysis must take into account where the spacecraft travels and the level of energetic particles it will encounter along the way. With that understood appropriate measures can be taken to assure the survival of the spacecraft and its cargo for the duration of the trip.
Our specialist in paints and thermal coatings for space applications helped design and qualify the paint chemistry that will ensure the Mars 2020 Rover Perseverance does not run too hot or too cold. In space the temperatures can be extreme and paint and other coatings help the spacecraft to either radiate heat or absorb heat under a variety of conditions. This is critical for the science experiments and electronic equipment on board. The wrong chemistry can even lead to paint peeling off surfaces, just like you can experience in the exterior of your home. But in this case, we cannot just go to Home Depot and get some paint and touch it up. Everything on these missions must last without any fixes. That is why sometimes you just need to have a Rocket Scientist in your back pocket with deep knowledge and experience.
CREAN Inc…. For when it does take a Rocket Scientist™.
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