Aerospace Pre-Launch HVAC/Environmental Control Systems

Aerospace pre-launch environmental control systems protect highly sensitive equipment during mission-critical processes prior to the spacecraft being launched into space. In these applications, even a minuscule temperature or humidity variation or failure in filtration can result in mission failure.

Typically, aerospace companies come to us needing environmental control systems during one of these processes:

  1. Keeping critical and sensitive rocket equipment – generally payloads – safe during ground transportation to the launchpad.
  2. Maintaining stability during critical fueling of the rocket.
  3. Calibrating avionic systems with mobile cleanroom air conditioning.
  4. Manufacturing of aerospace equipment in cleanrooms.
Aerospace Environmental Control Systems

To establish the conditions required for these processes, Air Innovations develops environmental control solutions according to precise aerospace specifications. Our pre-launch HVAC systems are customized to adhere to critical filtration, temperature, and humidity requirements, even when operating in harsh environments.

Custom Aerospace Cooling Systems Built to Your Specifications

Keeping payloads properly conditioned before launch requires custom-developed solutions. Each project must adhere to its own unique ambient temperature ranges, air quality requirements, and other specifications. To meet these needs, Air Innovations takes the time to thoroughly understand your project and its requirements.

During the initial stages of your project, we will discuss some basic considerations:

  • Temperature and humidity ranges (both ambient and desired conditions)
  • Required cleanliness
  • Volume of airflow
  • Electrical inputs
  • Degree of salt air and UV exposure that can affect the equipment’s external parts
  • Transportation method

Our pre-launch HVAC systems meet a variety of stringent requirements, including low dew points, one-through or recirculated air, protective coatings for corrosive environments, HEPA filtration, adjustable output temperature, and other needs.

Aerospace & Military Capabilities

Fixed and Portable Environmental Control Systems

Air Innovations designs both portable environmental control systems (PECS) and fixed environmental control systems for the aerospace industry. These solutions can be designated to facilitate anything from pre-launch payload cooling to serving as a self-contained cleanroom air conditioning unit for calibrating avionic systems.

There are several notable differences between portable and fixed environmental control systems:

Portable Units for Ground or Air Transportation

Since portable systems need to be transported from one area to another, they need to be smaller and lighter than fixed systems. This also makes portable ECUs more challenging to build. The design phase of these projects requires more consideration of the factors involved with transporting this equipment to different locations. In portable environmental control systems, our team needs to be concerned about the weight of the system, the vibration from operating and transporting the unit, the available power and its termination types, size parameters, and other external factors such as UV light, salt air, temperature, and humidity.

Determining whether your project will require ground-based or air-based transportation is an important aspect of developing a custom HVAC unit.

Aerospace Environmental Control Unit For The Orion Spaceship CapsuleAerospace Environmental Control Unit for the Orion Spaceship Capsule

Typically, spacecraft are built inside a container and then ground transported from the building they were constructed in, to the launch pad. However, because they are not powered and lack fuel, they cannot protect themselves on the ground. Our systems move along with the spacecraft during ground transportation, controlling the environment inside its container, protecting the spacecraft from temperature fluctuations, humidity, solar radiation, particles, and hydrocarbons.

Some environmental control systems are too big or too fragile to move long distances on the road. So, they must be transported by airplane. In air transportation projects, strict weight and size limitations set by the aircraft must be adhered to.

Whether your project involves ground or air transportation, Air Innovations understands the critical nature of conditioning portable units properly for safe transport.

Fixed Units for Aerospace Cleanroom Applications

Fixed environmental control systems are stationary units used inside buildings or affixed outside, near the point of use. Since these systems are typically exposed to a smaller range of temperatures and humidity levels and do not need to be movable after installation, there are fewer considerations than with portable systems. Many of the fixed environmental control systems we develop are cleanrooms created to protect rockets and other spacecraft during the building process. We have also built fixed systems for maintaining the critically low dew points required for supplying the rocket with (highly combustible) fuel.
Since these systems function as cleanrooms to support ground processing activities and protect spacecraft pre-launch, they must adhere to stringent environmental controls. Air Innovations uses stationary equipment to protect the cleanroom and control particle exposure, temperature, humidity, and other factors.

Precise Air Filtration, Temperature, and Humidity Control in a Wide Range of Conditions

At Air Innovations, each solution we create is unique and involves various temperature and humidity tolerances and filtration levels. Our all-in-one aerospace heating & cooling systems have the ability to meet a broad range of capabilities, including the following:

  • HEPA filtration
  • Adjustable output temperatures over a wide range of temperatures (45°F – 85°F / 7°C – 29.5°C)
  • Pressurization
  • Volume of airflow, ranging from 700 CFM to 4000 CFM
  • Humidification and dehumidification

Many of the environmental control units we design require very low dew points, such as desiccant dehumidification to -22°C for cooling the core during fueling.

UV and Sea Salt-Resistant HVAC-Equipment

If your HVAC system will be exposed to UV radiation or sea salt during its transportation or use, Air Innovations will ensure your equipment is protected. From utilizing corrosion-resistant materials to applying special protective coatings, we always take the necessary preventative measures to keep your unit safe.

Custom-Shaped Equipment to Fit into Your Existing Space

No matter how demanding your shape or size requirements are, we can create a solution that adheres to the dimensions you need. For challenging indoor spaces, we create modular designs that can come apart to fit through small spaces and can then be easily reassembled inside.

Your Trusted Partner for Mission Critical Applications

Air Innovations understands mission-critical applications and helps to ensure your project is a success. We create reliable solutions for even the most challenging situations, such as transporting expensive, sensitive equipment by ground without damage, or eliminating all moisture from rocket fuel piping systems.

In many aerospace applications, redundancy is important. For critical projects where failure is not an option, we build two units within one. That means two sets of fans, coils, heaters, compressors, and other components. Both sets of equipment constantly run at 50% capacity, ensuring that if one system fails, the other can handle the entire load by itself. No matter what the challenges of your project entail, our experienced and innovative team is here to give you peace of mind and prepare you to succeed.

Aerospace Environmental Control Unit For The Orion Spaceship CapsuleAerospace Environmental Control Unit for the Orion Spaceship Capsule

Why Work With Air Innovations?

Air Innovations has solved aerospace project challenges for both US and international clients. All of our products can be certified to any of the following safety and performance standards: ETL, CSA, CE, CCC, ANSI, UL, SEMI, and MIL-STD.

We continually strive for innovation and maintain a dedicated in-house research and development department to conduct data and performance validations. Our psychrometric testing facility allows us to simulate extreme environmental conditions to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of our products.

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Contact Our Experts for Aerospace Environmental Control Solutions

In the aerospace industry, no two projects are identical. Each environmental control system must adhere to its own temperature and humidity tolerance requirements, filtration level, pressurization needs, and other specifications. At Air Innovations, we specialize in HVAC systems for applications where failure is not an option.

Our solutions for the aerospace industry can help you safeguard sensitive equipment during ground transportation, maintain stability during rocket fueling, or calibrate avionic systems with mobile cleanroom air conditioning. To learn more about our products or discuss your next project, contact our team today.