2010 is the final year for NASA’s aging space shuttle fleet. As each orbiter returns to earth from its final voyage, it is greeted by products designed and sold by Markair, Inc. and manufactured by TCF Aerovent.
Once the orbiter lands at the end of a mission, the Shuttle Landing Fleet of vehicles keep systems on the orbiter operating while it progresses through checkout stages. One of the fleet support systems is a portable air conditioning unit. TCF Aerovent supplied twenty (20) panel fans for each of three (3) of these portable air conditioning units.
The existing cooling air supply units were not performing to specifications and required new fans and coils. The fans and coils had to bolt to an existing shroud and provide substantially higher performance.
The seacoast environment required special materials and coatings for corrosion protection. Quality, performance, and delivery were very critical requirements of the specifications.
Each of the three units required sixteen (16) 30″ DDP condenser fans and four (4) 16″ DDP pre-cooling fans for a total of sixty (60) fans. The motors were severe wash down duty with stainless steel housings, shafts, and hardware. The fans were all welded aluminum construction fabricated to fit the existing shrouds. The coating was a white Ameron paint that required sand blasting, an Amerlock 400 primer and an Ameron PSX700 topcoat.
In addition to the extensive documentation and testing requirements, NASA STD-5008 required a Certified National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Inspection of all of the fans. Aerovent hired a NACE certified company out of Pompano Beach, Florida to perform the inspections and to provide the certified reports. Aerovent provided a full-time QC person to work with the NACE inspector. Together, they reviewed the specifications and inspected everything from surface preparation to measuring dry film thicknesses (DFT) on each fan. The painting and inspection process took a total of six days. The detailed report states “all work was performed in strict accordance with specifications and in a professional manner.”
For the past five years, the Aerovent units have been operating during landing and recovery of the space shuttle fleet. NASA remains very satisfied with the quality of Aerovent’s products and the units are performing to specifications.
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