Aavid has pioneered the development of cryogenic heat pipes and loop heat pipes designed for use in microgravity environments.
The continuing growth of space-based communications and sensors, along with the evolution of spacecraft electronics is driving demand for thermal control and heat removal in low temperature environments. Aavid has demonstrated a wide range of heat pipe/fluid systems for cryogenic thermal management, including helium at -270°C (3K), hydrogen at -250°C (23K), neon at -240°C (33K) and oxygen at -220°C (53K).
Aavid, as Thermacore, developed a prototype heat pipe for the Stirling Orbital Refrigerator/Freezer (SOR/F) experimentation and tested it on the Space Shuttle Discovery (STS 60). The SOR/F heat pipes were proven capable of removing up to 10 W of power in space at operating temperatures between -30°C (243K) and -60°C (213K). The heat pipes were copper and used acetone as the working fluid.