The construction of a prototype microvascular composite heat exchanger was undertaken for use as a counterflow Joule-Thomson cryocooler for infrared cameras, superconducting electronics, gamma ray detectors, etc. Microvascular heat exchangers that are low cost, compact, and highly efficient will enable a new class of cryocoolers.
Small spacecraft rarely have volume for thermal control, while the few who do have control rely on low-complexity systems. These simplistic techniques are sufficient for low power missions in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) but are not capable of dumping heat produced by increasingly advanced subsystems such as propulsion systems or high-power antennas. A novel VascTech control system utilized a deployable radiator composite panel with a microvascular circulatory system for coolant.