MPB Communications awarded Patent for new material that passively reacts to ambient temperatures

September 7 - 2010: MPB Communications Inc. has been awarded a US Patent for the invention of a material that helps maintain a thermally stable environment within satellite housings.

The presence and absence of solar energy has the potential to respectively raise and lower internal temperature of any structure “like in your car at different times of the day or year,” explains Wes Jamroz, Director of the Space and Photonics Division at MPB. “Heating and cooling outside the protection of the atmosphere happens even faster over a more extreme range - from minus 150°C to plus 150°C in a matter of minutes.”

It is preferable to maintain the internal temperature of a satellite between -10°C to +30° to ensure effective operation of communication and control electronics such as processors and transceivers.

cold temperature illustration hot temperature illustration

In cold temperatures, the coating helps the housing maintain heat

In hot temperatures, the coating expels heat

MPB’s patent is for the composition of a special coating (Variable Emittance Thermochromic Material) that adjusts its properties in accordance with the ambient environment. Used in the exterior structure of a satellite housing, the coating will maintain the optimal temperature of   the interior.

Although there are known variable emittance coatings in existence, they differ from MPBs in that they need to be electrically manipulated to react.  The material MPB has developed responds passively, which eliminates any additional electronics and reduces the possibility of failure.

The same invention is applicable for a number of terrestrial applications that require regulation of the internal temperature of a structure, housing, protective suite, and/or vehicle.

MPB hopes to demonstrate its Variable Emittance Thermochromic Material in space within the next few years.


United States Patent #:

7,761,053 B2 issued July 20th, 2010.



"Variable Emittance Thermochromic Material and Satellite System"



Roman V. Kruzelecky, Emile Haddad, Brian Wong, and Wes R. Jamroz

About MPB’s Space Photonics Division

MPB has been involved in Space and Photonics since the late ‘70’s, when it was developing a number of space platforms used for scientific experiments.
Located in the building adjacent to MPB Headquarters, the Space Photonics team has developed an enviable reputation working with Universities and Companies for various space agencies.

Last year, MPB received 5 of the 26 contracts awarded for the research and development of innovative space technologies from the Canadian Space Agency’s Space Technology Development Program.  In the same month, MPB was given the green light to begin the prototype of a Smart Reconfigurable All Terrain Multi-Mission Microrover for future use on lunar and mars expeditions.

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