I'm looking for a microscale valve/controller but am having a hard time finding what I'm looking for or a supplier. It will be used for a propulsion system in a CubeSat and as such needs to be fairly small. It will need to be able to hold 1000-2000 psi and have a wide operating temperature range. Most suppliers I've explored so far either have the pressure threshold I'm looking for but the valves are not small enough or vice-versa. Any advice on a supplier or a valve in particular would be great.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Robotics nsbman, but I'm afraid that shopping questions really aren't a good fit for a stack exchange site. We prefer practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Take a look at How to Ask and tour for more information on how stack exchange works, and the Robotics question checklist for details of how to write a good question. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Jul 31 '19 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ There's a reason aero/space components are hugely expensive. It's a (relatively) small market with stringent requirements. You might be able to get by with purchasing a normal/terrestrial valve and putting it in space, but is there an electrolytic capacitor in there somewhere that's going to explode when it gets exposed to outer space? You mention pressure, temperature rating, and size, but what about a reliability rating? Is it okay for this device to fail? How fast does the valve need to open or close? What flow rate? How repeatable? $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Jul 31 '19 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ There are lots of questions to be answered when it comes to actually selecting a proper actuator, and this kind of work is the domain of a person called an application engineer. They're the person whom you would contact at a company that could guide you through the process of selecting the appropriate model or device to meet your needs. I tried a brief search and couldn't quickly find who makes the pneumatic actuators for NASA, so I would probably start with a company like Honeywell and tell them specifically that you want to talk to an aerospace actuator application engineer. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Jul 31 '19 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ You will find this difficult to find, its rare that anything is spec’d proper on earth for space....why the large OP...shouldnt it be relatively stable....if not, can you make t stable, to reduce your requirements some? $\endgroup$
    – morbo
    Jul 31 '19 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ You are looking for one of the holy grails of amateur robotics - have a look at papers and articles concerned with on-point pressure release (look for 'compressed gas thruster') and you'll find that they usually roll their own, use commercial stuff far beyond spec, or suck up the massive overengineering (in terms of volume, mass, and power requirements) in the valves used in stationary terrestial applications. If you find something in the range you are looking for (700-2000 kPa), that is tiny and doesn't guzzle energy definitely self-answer here! $\endgroup$
    – bukwyrm
    Aug 5 '19 at 9:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.