Gary Mills - Staff Consultant, Aerospace Engineer, Ball Aerospace

Gary Mills is an Aerospace Engineer and Staff Consultant at Ball Aerospace, with 30 years of experience in the design, analysis, fabrication, and test of thermal, cryogenic and optical systems. He has authored 25 publications in his field. He has expertise in the engineering of cryogenic fuel tanks, Helium II (Superfluid Helium) cryostats and systems and optical cryocooling. He has managed several successful efforts involving the engineering, fabrication and test of aerospace systems. Mills was the Program Manager of the Optical Cryocooler Development NASA program which successfully developed the world’s first optical refrigerator.  Mr. Mills managed the design and installation of the Ball tunable laser facility.

Mr. Mills was the system engineer on the Ball program that designed, fabricated and tested the liquid hydrogen fuel tanks for the Boeing Phantom Eye aircraft, which had a successful first flight in 2012.  He served as a program manager for the design, manufacture and test of the cryogenic ground support equipment (GSE) for servicing and monitoring Helium II flight cryostats.  The equipment was delivered on time, within budget and was successfully used to service the Low Cost IR&D helium dewar during testing. On another project, Mr. Mills managed the design, manufacture and test of a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) subsystem on a solid nitrogen dewar for the Near Infrared Camera Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) instrument currently installed in the Hubble Space Telescope. For the NASA Space Station, Mr. Mills performed thermal design, analysis and testing on the cryogenic oxygen and nitrogen tanks. He also performed cryogenic analysis, design, and testing on the Lambda Point Experiment program for Stanford University, including the design and testing of a cryogenic, pressure actuated shut-off valve. His experience includes preliminary design studies for a hazardous cryogenic test facility and the design, instrumentation, operation and data analysis of several helium II flow experiments. Mr. Mills received the Russell B. Scott Memorial Award for author of the best applications paper at the 1995 Cryogenic Engineering Conference. He holds U.S. patents for "Saturated Cryogenic Fuel System", No. 4,406,129, and “Integrated MLI”, No. 7,954,301.  Mr. Mills holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and a Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado.

Mr. Mills is the inventor of Integrated Multilayer Insulation (IMLI concept) and co-inventor of Load Responsive Multilayer Insulation (LRMLI). He has been a key team member of the IMLI programs.  He presented a paper “The Performance of Gas Filled Multilayer Insulation” at the Cryogenic Engineering Conference in 2007, was a lead author for the Ball MLI IRAD Study presented to NASA in 2007 as part of a Cryogenic Propulsion System Study for NASA, and is an author on four insulation papers; “Integrated and Load Responsive MLI” at CEC 2009, “Wrapped MLI for Cryogenic Piping” at CEC 2011, “Novel Load Responsive MLI with high in-atmosphere and on-orbit thermal performance” at the Space Cryogenics Workshop 2011, “Modeling and Testing of Integrated and Load Responsive MLI” at the Spacecraft Thermal Control Workshop 2012.