DSM has received interest from NASA regarding actuators for cryogenic applications and for others that do not require low temperature capability. Many non-cryogenic uses require a wider temperature range than laboratory environment, so some of the proposed work would be useful for these purposes, as well. Many inquiries are related to the regulation of fluid flow or pressure. Thruster valves used in highly miniaturized satellites have received significant attention. Flow and pressure control of cryogenic propellants such as LOX for propulsion is also an area of interest. As the technology is more fully developed, it will be practical to pursue applications requiring more force. Interest has been expressed in an actuator for a 1-inch and 2 inch cryo-isolation valve that will require over 150 pounds of output force. There are many cryo and non-cryo valve applications that can potentially be addressed by this technology.
The most direct applications outside NASA are other aerospace projects that require actuators to operate valves for cryogenic fluid handling. ESA and major US defense contractors have previously tested systems that used piezoelectric actuators from DSM. It is reasonable to assume that once the new technology reaches a readiness level that is acceptable for NASA, other aerospace entities will have similar interest in using it for their programs. The US Air Force has expressed interest in very low temperature, high force actuators for use in their low Earth orbit simulation chambers at Arnold Engineering Development Center. More broadly, some commercial applications related to materials evaluation and inspection need positioning at very low temperature and could benefit from this research.