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Objective: The objective of the activity is to develop a single-piece housing with embedded heat transport channels that transport waste heat directly from the electronics to an external heat sink and which can operate both on-ground and in-flight.
Target Improvements: The main benefit of this development is the significant reduction in the thermal gradient within the electronics housing. This will enable the electronics to operate at lower temperatures thereby increasing their reliability or to accommodate more higher dissipating components, or a combination thereof. This will mark an important evolution of thermal management for high power density electronic units.
Description: State of the art thermal design for electronic housings result in the highest thermal gradient (from component junction temperature to the unit baseplate) on the spacecraft. The ability to reduce this gradient will reduce the size and mass of electronic units whilst increasing reliability or conversely allow higher dissipating components to be accommodated insidecurrent housing sizes.
Previous activities have developed two-phase components that transport heat from electronic components to the housing. The proposed activity would combined these ideas with Additive Layered Manufacturing (ALM) to create a highly thermally conductive electronic housing.
The concept is to reduce the number of thermal interfaces from 2 to 1, via an embedded heat transportdesign (e.g. 2-phase channel) design. The heat transport channels would be directly integrated inside the PCB stiffener frame.
Ideally it would be more efficient to have a single, large two-phase thermal structure for the satellite. However, reliability and modularity requirement make actual implementation on a satellite very difficult.
A potential solution is to use additive layered manufacturing to manufacture complex capillary structures as well as innovative heat exchangers. This would enable the coupling of 2 or moretwo-phase channels together without directly exchanging heat pipe fluid thereby greatly reducing failure propagation. This also enables the possibility to use different types of fluid in the system. One type of fluid can be used in the electronic housing that would then exchange heat via the heat exchangers to another heat channel system using another type of fluid. The heat is then transported to an interface heat sink provided by the satellite system.
It is important also that the internal capillary structure works during satellite AIT, i.e. it works in 1g. In a horizontal configuration, the third dimension of the two phase channel supports transport of the full dissipating energy without compromising on-ground testing at unit and spacecraft level.
Electronic box with embedded heat pipes prototype based on the developed concepts shall be designed, developed and manufactured. Tests shall be conducted to validate the expected performance improvements and demonstrate the developed concepts.
Procurement Policy: C(1) = Activity restricted tonon-prime contractors (incl. SMEs). For additional information please go to EMITS news "Industrial Policy measures for non-primes,SMEs and RD entities in ESA programmes".