Masten’s proposed innovation is a warming solution that allows spacecraft systems to survive the lunar night and operate continuously in shaded lunar regions. This metal oxidation warming system (MOWS) employs moderate-temperature chemical reactions to deliver heat for thermal control with order-of-magnitude greater specific energy than battery-based approaches. Similar chemical systems have been used terrestrially, but MOWS for spacecraft systems have not been demonstrated. This system will enable flight computers, payloads, and other components to survive the lunar night, and can be deactivated during the lunar day to prevent overheating. A warming solution using MOWS is low-mass, dust-proof, non-radioactive, and has high system specific energy. In this Phase II effort, Masten will develop a MOWS demonstration unit intended to universally interface with NASA or commercial payloads. Masten will mature the design of this system through multiple Design and Analysis Cycles (DACs) interspersed with component-level and integrated testing. This work will include development of a robust and autonomous control system for MOWS, maturation of components to improve stability and specific energy, and payload interface design. Masten will then manufacture and test a high-fidelity MOWS demonstration unit, which will be delivered to NASA for additional integration and testing work.
NASA systems operating on the lunar surface that use MOWS will:
As the cislunar domain becomes an increasingly populated environment, the demand for technologies, like MOWS, that enable extended and persistent missions will grow. MOWS increases mission durations by 100-1,000% or more; at a low multi-million dollar cost point, MOWS may be an attractive option for lunar stakeholders that desire increased mission durations.