SpIRIT thermal management system _ Credit: Titomic

A lot is happening in the space industry right now – and this is in major countries adopting AM technologies. Australia, a country that is acknowledged for providing AM solutions to the defense industry, is making a real splash in the space industry with the successful launch of SpIRIT, which stands for Space Industry – Responsive – Intelligent – Thermal (SpIRIT) nanosatellite.

Built in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency, the University of Melbourne and several Australian space industry companies, the nanosatellite aims to observe X-ray and gamma-ray emissions from space.

In the selected list of SMEs, one finds Titomic, a Melbourne-based manufacturer who leverages its  cold spray additive manufacturing technology to develop the satellite’s thermal management system.

The spacecraft boasts a thermal bi-metallic radiator design manufactured with Titomic’s TKF 1000 system and pure copper, further enhanced with a reflective mirror tape on one side. This sophisticated design not only maximizes thermal efficiency but also enables the satellite to house heat-sensitive instruments typically reserved for larger counterparts. Titomic underscores the radiator’s unique “bird-shaped” spray pattern, a design element instrumental in effectively dissipating heat and thereby augmenting the satellite’s thermal performance ratio to unprecedented levels.

SpIRIT launched on December 2nd from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, USA, on board the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The only instrument payload for SpIRIT is the HERMES payload – an X-ray and gamma-ray spectrometer with associated control electronics. This instrument will be used in collaboration with identical instruments onboard the HERMES constellation satellites to determine the location of X-ray and gamma-ray emissions from space.

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Corporate communication and marketing expert by training at 3D Adept, Kety is currently leading the publication’s editorial and content activities. She has a unique gift for knowing how to grab an audience's attention on insights that matter – in this case, everything related to additive manufacturing. She believes that a wide range of innovations still have to be discovered about the technologies that shape the world of tomorrow and she has made it her objective at 3D ADEPT Media.