Thermal Control & Analysis

Spacecraft electronics and instrumentation are highly sensitive to the harsh thermal environment found in space. SDL simulates the thermal spacecraft environment to verify the design prior to testing and then uses the data to improve the overall system performance and minimize risk during assembly, test, and flight. SDL has experience with both passive and active thermal control systems, with some critical components held at temperatures down to 4 Kelvin.


  • Analysis and simulation of expected on-orbit conditions
  • Thermal control design suitable to mission requirements and scale
  • Active and passive thermal control systems



Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer

OSIRIS REx is a NASA New Frontiers mission to return a sample of an asteroid to the Earth. SDL designed, built and tested the detector electronics assemblies for the three OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite (OCAM) instruments.


Ionospheric Connection Explorer-Far Ultraviolet Imaging Spectograph

The FUV instrument on the ICON mission is designed to measure daytime thermospheric and nighttime ionospheric density profiles.


Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

The WISE cryogenically-cooled infrared telescope provided a complete stellar infrared map more than 1,000 times more detailed than previous surveys.

JWST Heat Switch

James Webb Space Telescope

SDL designed and demonstrated an advanced thermal switch for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).


Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry

SABER, a 10-channel infrared (1.27 to 16.9 µm) radiometer, is one of four instruments on NASA's TIMED mission, which is dedicated to study the dynamics of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) portion of the Earth's atmosphere.


Dynamic Ionosphere Cubesat Experiment

Twin CubeSats mapped the geomagnetic Storm Enhanced Density (SED) plasma bulge and plume formations in Earth’s ionosphere.


HyperAngular Rainbow Polarimeter

The HARP instrument is a wide field-of-view hyperangular imaging polarimeter designed to characterize aerosol and cloud properties.