UAM-enabled thermal management + structural devices are an important enabler for not-too-distant deep space missions, where UAM-enabled devices permit more system integration and autonomy while reducing mass and volume. For application in deep space missions this paradigm shift is similar to the change from a few day Lunar mission (Apollo) to a multiple year low earth orbit habitat (Space Station). Typical initial UAM applications would include integrating structure and thermal control of parts of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover, followed by components of advanced small spacecraft that have very small masses with their temperatures highly sensitive to variations in the component power output and spacecraft environmental temperature. In both applications, UAM addresses competing system requirements for managing primary load paths and integrating thermal management into the structure.
The initial application of high performance UAM-enabled thermal management devices will likely be in NASA, defense and commercial space structure programs, in that order. This estimate recognizes the high performance technology leading nature of the organizations and their missions. The project team already services aerospace customers. Agreements with these customers uniformly prohibit publication of the details of our work with them.