NMSU receives NASA early-stage innovations grant

10 March 2021

New Mexico State University was selected to receive a NASA Early Stage Innovations grant to conduct game-changing space technology research. NMSU’s proposal was one of 14 university-led research proposals chosen to receive up to $650,000 from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants program for up to three years.

Krishna Kota, associate professor of thermal sciences and energy in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will lead the project to conduct fundamental research toward the development of compact, highperformance heat exchanger technology for cryocoolers intended for long-duration space missions. Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Sarada Kuravi and Professor Vimal Chaitanya are co-principal investigators on the project.

Kota said he was excited to receive the grant that provides an opportunity to collaborate with NASA and the industry.

“This research has the potential to make space heat exchangers light-weight and compact,” Kota said. “At present, these heat exchangers are very bulky and large but they are necessary for enabling long-duration space missions beyond the low Earth orbit. Compact heat exchangers will lower the cost of space missions. They will help in saving space and reducing the weight in the spacecraft and these savings can be used for carrying other mission-critical components."