Thermal Management for Aircraft, Spacecraft and Satellites

Thermal control and heat rejection for aerospace and avionics is more challenging than ever, thanks to advances in space electronics (miniaturization, complexity and integration), and the emergence of more-electric-aircraft (MEA) concepts that make cooling difficult. Aavid thermal management solutions involve an innovative blend of heat pipe, loop heat pipe, and advanced solid conduction technologies to provide efficient and low mass thermal solutions.

Aavid consistently delivers innovative thermal solutions to hundreds of organizations including BAE Systems, Boeing, DRS, General Dynamics Land Systems, Harris, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, United Technologies, and many others. These prime contractors have turned to Aavid for expert engineering design, development, and production thermal solution components and systems including advanced solid conduction, passive two-phase heat transfer, liquid cooling solutions, and other thermal systems.

Heat Pipes

Heat pipes for aerospace applications from Aavid have been used for thermal management on some of the most important aircraft and satellites in recent years. Thermacore, now part of Aavid’s Aerospace Division, has developed advanced thermal solutions for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), NASA spacecraft, and the Navy Windcat Microwave Radiometer Satellite.

Aavid heat pipes include Constant Conductance (CCHP) axially grooved, copper-water and Variable Conductance (VCHP) heat pipe systems, ideal for integration into the radiator panels of satellite thermal control subsystems. Aavid and our radiator panel supplier partners can provide these heat pipes embedded in a structural honeycomb panel.

Advanced Solid Conduction

To augment satellite radiator panels, Aavid's k Technology division provides advanced solid conduction technology for efficient thermal management without moving parts. This extends the capabilities of satellite radiator panels through specialty engineered designs involving copper or aluminum heat sinks.

Advanced solid conduction solutions from Aavid’s previous Thermacore subsidiary have helped the Mars Rover make new discoveries, and will be at work in the new Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3), a state-of-the-art high-spectral resolution imaging spectrometer designed to characterize and map the mineral composition of the moon.

Aavid’s innovative solutions for these projects include:

Space Radiator
•Aluminum Encapsulation •.05 in. thick radiators; .01 in. thick Annealed Pyrolytic Graphite (APG) insert
•Conductivity of the radiators: > 460 W/mK
•Density of each radiator: < 2.6 g/cm3

Copper Encapsulated APG Thermal Straps
•Thermal conductivity up to 1,000 W/mK
•Density: < 4.0 g/cm3
•Low bending stiffness — formable material
•Provides conduction path to the radiators

Loop Heat Pipes

Aerospace heat rejection, using radiator panels that can be stowed for launch and then deployed in orbit, requires high-performance, extra-efficient thermal technology. Increasingly, Aavid loop heat pipes are the answer, meeting the challenge of cooling a higher concentration of satellite electronics with a limited surface area.

Loop heat pipes offer effective heat removal over long distances without sensitivity to gravity. These unique passive two-phase heat transfer systems give you several key advantages:
•Can operate as thermal diodes to prevent backward heat leak
•Capable of transporting and rejecting heat loads from hundreds of watts to more than 2,000 W
•Stand up to demanding conditions (e.g., Navy, Air Force and NASA testing for thermal performance; high-g spin; flex fatigue; shock/vibration and freeze/thaw)

Loop heat pipes often feature multiple evaporators to accommodate dispersed heat sources and passive/active thermal regulation.

Improving Efficiency and Protecting Sensitive Electronic Systems

•Actuator-mounted electronics cooling
•Wing and cowl anti-icing using engine waste heat
•Avionics cooling
•F-16 targeting pod
•Passive anti-icing
•Integrated High Performance Turbine Energy Technology (IHPTET)
•Leading Edge
•Joint Strike Fighter

•Stirling Orbiter Refrigeration/Freezer (SOR/F)
•Loop heat pipe flight experiment
•Timeband Capture Cell Experiment (TICCE)
•Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS)
•Unfurlable heat pipe for lunar radiator
•Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO)

Specialized Applications
•Lunar Radiator/NASA
•Niobium rocket nozzle
•Laminate metal/ceramic composite
•On-chip cooling and Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) matching

Many of the technologies involved in thermal solutions for aerospace and avionics are also valuable in military applications. These thermal technologies include:
Cold plates
Heavy-duty heat pipe assemblies
Liquid cooling systems
Vapor chambers


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