July 19, 2024 1:39PM EDT

Space for Business: NASA chooses Lynch Fluid Controls for Hydraulic Motion Control Solutions

In the space market, collaboration with innovative and reliable partners is crucial for Supply Chain Management (SCM) success. The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has been working with Lynch Fluid Controls Inc. for more than a decade now. This partnership highlights Lynch’s exceptional capabilities in the design, modeling, manufacturing, assembly, testing, and delivery of hydraulic motion-control solutions for NASA’s Project Artemis Exploration Ground Systems (EGS). This Small Medium Enterprise (SME) manufacturer has carved a unique niche in the “Space for Business” market and established itself as a trusted partner within NASA’s supply chain.

Lynch Fluid Controls brings value to NASA through its ability to transform ideas, concepts, schematics, and 3D models into reality. The company boasts engineering expertise and possesses Intellectual Property (IP) that allows them to handle all the iterations of the NASA Project Artemis I Mobile-Launcher Projects. This capability is highly appreciated by NASA engineers who understand the complexity involved in translating engineering drawings into real world activities such as metal cutting, machining, production, assembly, and testing.

Communication plays a vital role in Lynch’s partnership with NASA, as project timelines are constantly fluctuating due to internal and geopolitical circumstances. The ability to adapt and respond promptly to these changes is crucial for the success of any space project. NASA values the stability and reliability that Lynch brings to the table, as the company has a remarkable track record of over 30 years in the industry and a global reputation for excellence. Furthermore, Lynch holds certifications such as ISO/AS9100/Controlled Goods and Defense Logistics Agency, ensuring compliance with quality management systems (QMS) and continuous improvement (CI) programs.

To thrive in the competitive “Space for Business” market, SME organizations must identify niches that bring value to the customer.  Lynch Fluid Controls has successfully achieved this by offering hydraulic motion-control solutions and sub-assemblies tailored specifically for NASA’s Space Launch System Umbilical Arms Mobile-Launcher Projects. The company’s commitment to design validation, modeling, manufacturing, assembly, testing, documentation and timely delivery has earned the trust of NASA’s technical architects.

Under a single roof, Lynch provides a seamless transition from theoretical engineering drawings to machine language, planning, programming, and state-of-the-art manufacturing. This holistic approach streamlines the production process, ensuring a higher level of efficiency and quality control. NASA acknowledges the benefits of collaborating with a vendor that possesses both theoretical engineering expertise and the capability to execute projects from start to finish with their project management skill sets.

The “Space for Business” market poses unique challenges, including long-term commitments, low product volumes, and a lack of critical mass. To address these challenges, organizations must price their offerings appropriately to minimize risks, ensure sustainability and their long-term health. Lynch Fluid Controls has recognized the importance of striking a balance between providing valuable solutions and maintaining a viable business model.

In conclusion, Lynch Fluid Controls Inc. stands as a testament to the success that can be achieved by SME manufacturers in the aerospace and defense industry. Their partnership with NASA showcases their ability to pioneer and access the “Space for Business” market. By leveraging their engineering expertise, intellectual property, tribal knowledge, and seamless project execution, Lynch has become a trusted and valued supplier to NASA’s Project Artemis programs.  Their dedication to quality and communication has solidified their position as a trusted player in the fluid power industry and a true partner in the space and defense worlds.

ARTEMIS I and the future of Space Travel

ARTEMIS I Flight Map
Detailed Artemis I Flight Map. Credit: NASA

Artemis I was a significant mission for NASA, as it marked their return to lunar exploration after decades of absence. As the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration of the moon and eventually mars, the main objectives of the Artemis  Program is to test and validate Exploration Ground Systems (EGS), Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion Capsule System.

The mission is the first integrated flight test of NASA’S deep space exploration system. Artemis I involved the unmanned launch of the Orion spacecraft on the Space Launch System rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on November 16, 2022. After completing one flyby of the Moon on November 21 and a second on November 25, the Orion spacecraft returned to Earth, successfully splashing down safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 11.

After its 1.4-million-mile mission around the moon and back to earth, the capsule was transported from San Diego, California to Kennedy’s Multi Payload Processing Facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida, by truck, arriving December 30th, 2022.

With Orion safely back at Kennedy, technicians have begun removing payloads from the capsule, for inspection, analysis and de-servicing operations. (See updates and photos from NASA)

The successful completion of Artemis I paves the way for a series of crewed future missions, including Artemis II, a crewed lunar fly-by that is presently scheduled for 2024.

Did you know that hydraulics not only work in space, but they play an essential role in the operation of space vehicles, their logistics and infrastructure? Properly functioning hydraulics on space vehicles are critical to ensuring missions are safe, efficient, and successful. Lynch is proud of its role in Artemis I and looks forward to NASA’s future missions to the moon and beyond! 

Hydraulics in Defense and Aerospace

When thinking about hydraulic applications, defense and aerospace are quite often at the top of the list.
Many industries such as mining, construction, forestry, oil and gas, and utilities routinely use hydraulics in the operation of heavy machinery.
What is not common knowledge is that a vast amount of the technology was developed and advanced through necessity by the defense and aerospace sectors.

Hydraulics is a technology involving a mechanical function that operates through force of liquid under pressure. This force greatly surpasses the force created by electronic or pneumatic means.

Power density is the key reason for using hydraulics in military applications, particularly where power and precision are required. Hydraulic systems can provide the high levels of force necessary to operate heavy equipment, as well as the precise control needed for delicate operations.

Examples of Hydraulic Use in Defense Applications (a few, there are many!)

Controlling robotic arms

Hydraulic systems offer several advantages for defense applications, including high power-to-weight ratios, compactness, and reliability. Hydraulic systems are an essential part of defense equipment and have played a vital role in the defense of countries around the world.

From countering powerful recoil to providing precision, hydraulics take the spotlight. Using robot arms in munitions factories help reduce injuries amongst workers and enable fine precision work which would be hard for a person to undertake by hand. The hydraulics in robotic arms allow for a superior level of control and accuracy in movement. 

Lifting and positioning aircraft parts during assembly & maintenance

Hydraulics do the heavy lifting during aircraft maintenance, allowing machinery to lift and maneuver parts into the correct place safely. Hydraulics really do provide the backbone of the defense industry, allowing for much quicker and more efficient turn arounds between missions and enhancing the safety of ground crews.  

Moving heavy loads around military bases

Many military ground vehicles have hydraulic parts including loading ramps that allow for easy transport of heavy loads around bases and shipped decks. Hydraulics are often used when stability and accuracy are key, for example if munitions are being transported, it is paramount that they are done so in a safe and reliable manner.

Hydraulics you can trust

Lives depend on hydraulic system reliability. At Lynch, we take safety very seriously.
Having a hydraulic system that has been built by experts and rigorously tested is essential.

Our team of Hydraulic Engineers are among the best in the world, with many years of diverse experience. They continue to work with top defense and aerospace companies and adhere to the highest standards in engineered manifold systems. 

Lynch offers research and development services. FEA, CFD, Life Cycle Testing, Static & Dynamic Testing, Burst pressures to 100,000 PSI.

Certifications and Standards

  • ISO9001:2015
  • AS9100D
  • Controlled Goods Program (CGP), Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), ITAR, Compliant

For three decades, Lynch Fluid Controls has taken pride in maintaining rigorous quality accreditations to deliver superior products with unsurpassed attention to quality, safety, and reliability.

Best Defense Conference 2022

Lynch Fluid Controls is a leading provider of hydraulic and motion control systems across a wide range of sectors. Visit our friendly and welcoming team at the Best Defense Conference in London, Ontario from November 16 -17, 2022 to learn how we will save you time and resources by being a single-source solution to engineer, manufacture, assemble, test and validate your next hydraulic defense solution.

Best Defence Conference