Your browser is not supported.

For the best experience, please access this site using the latest version of the following browsers:

Close This Window

By closing this window you acknowledge that your experience on this website may be degraded.

Honeywell’s Cool New Rocky Research Business Takes the Heat

Honeywell’s Cool New Rocky Research Business Takes the Heat

Rocky Research is a cool company in more ways than one. 

The Nevada-based business, now part of Honeywell, is a leader in cooling solutions that keep electronics working smoothly, manage the heat created by lasers and other directed-energy devices, control high-efficiency HVAC systems and make ice for military outposts and disaster areas. But “cool” describes the Rocky Research operating style as well, according to Mike Young, directed energy program director for Honeywell Aerospace.

“Rocky Research is extremely smart, fast and nimble,” Young said. From brainstorming with customers to quickly turning out new designs, the company is an idea powerhouse, he said.  The acquisition by a major manufacturer like Honeywell will take those technologies to the next level, he said.

An ideal pair

“We can definitely learn from the way Rocky Research creates customer partnerships and does rapid prototyping,” Young said. “Their customers, meanwhile, will benefit from Honeywell’s system integration expertise, global footprint, sourcing ability, system testing capabilities and large-scale production infrastructure.”

Rocky Research employs about fifty people at two sites: Boulder City, Nevada and Huntsville, Alabama. Company founder Uwe Rockenfeller will stay on as the division’s president.

“Honeywell and Rocky Research are a highly complementary match,” Rockenfeller said. “Working together, we will be able to provide our customer base with a full range of solutions, from prototyping and demonstration to complete product delivery and support.”

Hot industry

Power and thermal technologies are key to generating electricity and dissipating heat created by directed energy devices, including lasers used to defense against drones and other military threats. Maintaining a constant operating temperature is also key to many sensing and pointing systems. 

Rocky Research has developed the power and thermal management system for the U.S. Army’s Multi Mission High Energy Laser (MMHEL). 

The company has also developed military-grade environmental control units to keep troops cool and the Containerized Ice Making System, which produces and bags up to 3,600 pounds of ice per day. Other products include test equipment for the automotive, medical, appliance, audio and computer markets. 

“Uwe has created a strong organization with excellent customer relationships across the commercial, industrial and defense sectors,” Young said. “Over the last 35 years he has built a diverse portfolio of technologies, products and services that create innovative solutions to complex thermal problems.”

Growing portfolio

 The acquisition of Rocky Research complements Honeywell’s existing capabilities in directed energy, Young said. Much of Honeywell’s work has been focused on airborne applications, which have their own unique set of requirements and challenges.

Rocky Research, however, has concentrated primarily on ground-based systems, and they are exploring sea-based applications too, Young said.

“This combination puts us in a great position to provide integrated directed energy solutions to our defense customers across all domains while learning lessons from early defense demonstration programs,” Young said.

The acquisition also complements Honeywell’s growing portfolio in other thermal technologies, including the power and thermal management system for the F-35, Honeywell’s line of Micro Vapor Cycle Systems for urban air mobility vehicles and helicopters, and cryogenic coolers for defense and space applications.