Our space turbomachinery customers all require one thing in common: A CLEANROOM!
Why is cleanliness critical in space turbomachinery hardware?
- Particles in Liquid Oxygen environments can cause catastrophic ignition and mission failure.
- Humans involved in the manufacturing and assembly process generate between 1 to 30,000,000 particles of the size >0.3 µm per minute and pose the biggest threat to mission-critical space hardware. (https://www.nasa.gov/offices/setmo/articles/cleanroom-tech-key-to-success-in-space)
- Foreign objects can cause premature failures (such as electronic circuits) that are unrepairable once deployed into space.
Barber-Nichols has listened to our customers and successfully installed an ISO Class 5 cleanroom facility with personnel protective garments. Within the next year, Barber-Nichols will expand our cleanroom space to meet the growing customer demand! Sean Kannegieter, Assembly & Test Engineer, and Andrew Samborski, Assembly & Test Manager, enjoy suiting up in “bunny suits” to prevent the entry of particles (picture).
NASA published the article, Cleanroom Tech Key to Success in Space | NASA, highlighting the importance of cleanroom technology advancement to support the space revolution.
In addition to our cleanroom investment, Casey Martin, Project Engineer – Space Systems, has led a 14-Week Strategic Program to fully digest and implement internal controls to ensure compliance with NASA-STD-6016 Standard Materials and Processes Requirements for Spacecraft. We actively utilize these special process controls on rocket engine turbopumps, satellite cooling pumps, and life support systems.
Let us know how Barber-Nichols can support your journey to space. We are ready!