Thermal Control

Paragon uses sophisticated thermal modeling techniques and software to solve problems such as predicting vehicle performance at Mars surface operating conditions, passive and active control of hypersonic vehicles and satellite systems, and cabin thermal control for human and cargo transport in space, sea, and terrestrial environments.
© Sierra Space Corporation
Rendering of Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser Unmanned Cargo Module at ISS with xRAD™ radiators mounted on the vehicle.

Thermal Control Radiators

Sierra Space Dream Chaser xRADTM

The Dream Chaser program will provide multiple shipsets of radiators utilizing Paragon’s patented xRADTM radiator design. These flight radiators will be assembled onto the Dream Chaser Cargo Module and will be used to reject the heat generated by the spacecraft to space, allowing thermal control of all spacecraft components tied to the Active Thermal Control System. Paragon designs and manufactures radiators for a wide variety of customers and applications. Our patented Extruded Radiator (xRAD™) technology is a state-of-the-art, cost-effective radiator solution which eliminates the structural and thermal inefficiencies associated with traditional bonded radiators structures. Paragon manufactures the xRAD™ radiators for Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser spacecraft. For information about the Dream Chaser Program, please visit:

Flight Qualified and Delivered Dream Chaser Radiator Panel

Thermal/ Structural Extrusion “Building Blocks”

The xRADTM ‘building blocks’ are extruded aluminum panels with integral coolant tubing of any length, width, or depth, that also provide micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) protection.


Paragon designs and manufactures state-of-the-art heat pipe radiator solutions for passive thermal control. Our adaptable design incorporates stiffening isogrid and integrated heat pipes to provide a simple, yet robust radiator solution that ensures that unique design specifications can be accommodated without extensive NRE. Using internally developed tools and driving parameters such as temperature, thermal environment, and structural requirements, we can provide rapid preliminary sizing and estimation of mass, thermal, and structural performance. The resulting performance curves guide radiator specification and deliver a design that meets mission priorities with high confidence.

High-Turndown Radiators

The SMARTS technology enables a vehicle or habitat Thermal Control System to passively respond to and maintain thermal control in extreme varying environment conditions. This is done by using trainable shape memory alloys (SMAs) for passive actuation and control, providing turndown to respond to changes in the environment or heat rejection needs.

SMARTS Implementation in a high turndown TCS flow loop

Other Thermal Control Solutions

CHIMERA primary and secondary enclosure detail and integrated deluge system

High Energy Storage Systems

Paragon is working with the Department of Defense to design, build, and test the Coacting High Integrity Material Energetic Release Attenuation (CHIMERA) thermal protection system. CHIMERA is a modular, scalable storage solution which is lightweight and compact, tolerant of high temperature, and can withstand high levels of released energy resulting from a lithium-ion battery casualty while mitigating cascade failures. CHIMERA will increase mission capability and enhance safety by providing a tailorable battery storage capability for the Navy to reduce risk to Navy ships, submarines, and personnel as well as other applications.

“Skin in” Thermal system and component design and analysis


Paragon has supported thermal analysis on several hypersonic vehicle programs including the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle heat shield design, supersonic 5th generation fighter aircraft fuel thermal management system development, and Blackswift hypersonic cruise vehicle Thermal Protection System (TPS) analysis and design, for which Paragon was awarded the Small Business Supplier of the Year Award from Lockheed Martin.

Transonic rocket sled testing demonstrated aerodynamic stability to M =1.2
Deployed CELSIUS insulation

Launch Vehicle Cryogenic Insulation

Paragon and Thin Red Line have developed the Cryogenic Encapsulating Launch Shroud and Insulated Upper Stage (CELSIUS) system, providing high performance, windswept tolerant MLI with integrated MMOD protection. CELSIUS enables cryogenic upper stage operation for extended durations in orbital and transplanetary missions, extending manned and unmanned exploration of the solar system.

Buswork Integrated Cooling SYSTEM “BICS”

Next-Gen Cooling Technologies

Paragon designs and manufactures cooling technologies for a wide variety of thermal management applications. Paragon’s capabilities include made-to-order, low-profile coldplate geometries that can be integrated into tightly packaged systems; high flux single and two-phase coldplates for high performance and mission critical cooling; single and two-phase pumped thermal management systems with working fluids that include non-toxic refrigerants, DI Water, and PGW; and special purpose thermal management integrations for high voltage and high-power energy systems and power distribution systems. Provides high flux cooling and electrical isolation to high voltage high discharge energy systems

Orion Heat shield design and analysis

Thermal Protection Systems

Paragon solves complex thermal problems such as predicting vehicle performance at Mars surface operating conditions, passive and active control of hypersonic vehicles and satellite systems, and cabin thermal control for human and cargo transport. Paragon delivered thermal control analysis and flight hardware (ECLSS tubing and Flow Measurement Subassembly) for the NASA Orion MPCV.

Thermal Fluid Pump & Valve Systems

Paragon designs and manufactures pump assemblies for active thermal control systems. The assemblies integrate pumps, filters, and accumulators to provide fluid transport, filtration, and volume expansion functionality. The pump assemblies also include redundancy for increased reliability. Paragon designs and manufactures control valves for active thermal control systems. The valves control the flow of pumped thermal fluid. They are available in bypass or mixing configurations, provide minimized pressure drop, and include serial communication interfaces for commanding and feedback.