Microvalve

Microvalve - Miniaturized Double-Latching Solenoid Valve

We were awarded a license as the sole manufacturer of the Microvalve, a miniaturized double-latching solenoid valve that was developed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

It was developed as part of the Surface Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite in the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) within the Curiosity Rover, due to the highly critical function of the valve in the suite and the worldwide lack of a reliable supplier. It arrived on Mars in August 2012.

We have been building Microvalves for various Flight projects since then, including:

  • MAVEN - Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer (NGIMS)
  • ExoMars - Mars Organic Molecule Analyser (MOMA)
  • Solar Orbiter - Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE)
  • Resource Prospector - Lunar Advanced Volatile Analysis (LAVA)
  • ISS - Spacecraft Air Monitor (SAM)
  • Europa Clipper - MAss SPectrometer for Planetary EXploration (MASPEX)
  • Orion - Multi-Platform Air Monitor (MPAM)

Specifications:

  • Instantaneous He Leak Rate: < 1x10-10 atm-cc/sec
  • Steady State He Leak Rate: 5x10-9 atm-cc/sec
  • Operational Temperature: -60°C to 220°C
  • Actuation Time: < 1 millisecond
  • Overall Length: 1.616”
  • Total Mass: 25 grams
  • Total Moving Mass: 2 grams
  • Power: 18-28 VDC

Key Features:

  • Floating Pintle Tip that self-seats
  • Removable solenoid
  • Inert, high-temperature materials
  • Latches in open or closed position with no power
  • Coils can be run in parallel or series

 

Licensed from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)