Texas Patent of the Month – April 2021

Nanoracks, LLC is dedicated to solving problems on space and earth and trying to bridge the gap between the two. They like to tackle problems that limit long-term space exploration including food. Before Nanoracks, food had never been cooked from raw in space. Nanoracks developed a zero G oven.

A micro or zero gravity environment means there is a lack of natural convection and securing food position is difficult. The cylindrical-shaped insulated container holds and bakes sealed food samples in a microgravity environment. The design forces convection towards the center of a cooking chamber using a unique heating element and airflow configuration. The heating elements are uniformly distributed to create a well distributed cooking temperature. A heating rack holds good in place within the tubular chamber during cooking. When moved to the attached cooling tray, cool airflow is directed towards it. The airflow is designed to allow temperatures capable of cooking while maintaining a coolant effect to prevent overheating. Safety features are incorporated, including a failsafe where the oven will not operate if the door is improperly closed. This design allows safe cooking in space using even less power than a conventional oven would on Earth.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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