Press Release

Thermacore Heat Pipes Used in Successful Antarctic Balloon Flight

By SpaceRef Editor
September 21, 2008
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Thermacore, Inc. announced today that their heat pipes were successfully used in a high altitude balloon flight in Antarctica. The heat pipes were installed on the CREAM-III scientific instrument. The Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass (CREAM) project (, led by Prof. E.S. Seo’s team at the University of Maryland with collaborators from The Pennsylvania State University, NASA/GSFC, the French LPSC, Ewha Womans University of Korea and others, investigates high energy cosmic rays over the elemental range from protons to iron. The goal is to observe spectral features and/or abundance changes that might be related to a supernova acceleration limit. The payload was launched on a 40 million cubic foot balloon and flew over Antarctica at an altitude of 120,000-130,000 feet for almost 29 days. The picture shows the CREAM-III payload before launch near McMurdo Station.

Despite being in a frigid environment like the Antarctic, the instrument still requires cooling to function properly. The heat pipes were used to effectively remove potentially damaging heat from the delicate instrument. The flight was a huge success. “The use of heat pipes in this project demonstrates their robust nature for operating in harsh environments like Antarctica”, says Nelson Gernert, Vice President, Engineering and R&D at Thermacore.

The science team is now preparing the CREAM-IV payload to fly from Antarctica this coming December and plans to use Thermacore heat pipes again in the same configuration. “Thermacore looks forward to participating in the CREAM-IV flight,” says Jerry Toth, President and CEO of Thermacore. “We are glad that we have the technical expertise to support important scientific discoveries in demanding environments.”

About Thermacore, Inc.

Founded in 1970, Thermacore specializes in the custom design, development, and manufacturing of highly engineered thermal management systems and components for a variety of OEM applications across a diversified set of global markets that includes Military/Aerospace, Computer, Communication, Energy Conversion, Medical, Transportation, Test Equipment, and Automotive. With over 38 years of experience in the design, development, and manufacturing of passive two-phase systems, Thermacore brings unparalleled engineering design expertise and thermal solution performance, quality, and reliability to these markets. Thermacore employs more than 175 employees at 2 facilities located in the United States (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and the United Kingdom (Ashington, Northumberland). Both facilities are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified, with AS 9100 certification pending. For information about Thermacore, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.