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MPA’s Mission to The Moon

Motorcar Parts of America’s D&V Electronics has been selected for a NASA Mission to Saturn’s Moon Titan.

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Motorcar Parts of America’s (MPA) electric-vehicle testing company, D&V Electronics, has been selected for a very unique project: providing a power hardware-in-the-loop inverter test system to support the development of the rotor-motor controllers for NASA’s Dragonfly mission.  

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Part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, the Dragonfly mission consists of a large rotorcraft-lander that will explore Saturn’s moon Titan. Dragonfly will explore Titan’s environment, obtaining material samples to investigate prebiotic chemistry processes. 

The power hardware-in-the-loop system is a combination of D&V’s innovative electric-motor emulator and Opal-RT’s advanced motor models utilizing NI’s real-time system. The combined technologies will validate the performance of the rotor-motor controllers for the Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander. 

“This project advances our ongoing joint-development-program relationship with Opal-RT and NI for power hardware-in-the-loop systems focused on the aerospace, automotive and marine markets, and we look forward to other exciting opportunities,” said Bill Hardy, chief executive officer of D&V Electronics. 

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, which has similar characteristics to Earth’s environment – including sand dunes and an Earth-like hydrological cycle of methane clouds, rain and liquid flowing across the surface. 

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The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, manages the Dragonfly mission for NASA and is designing and building the Dragonfly rotorcraft-lander. 

“We are honored that the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory has selected D&V Electronics to be part of such a historic, technically challenging space-exploration program,” said Selwyn Joffe, chairman, president and CEO of MPA. 

Dragonfly is scheduled to launch in 2027 and reach Titan by 2034.

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