Objective: The objective of the activity is to develop a single-piece housing with embedded channels that transport waste heat fromthe electronic components to an external heat sink, reducing the overall thermal gradient within an electronic power unit. It shall be able to operate both on-ground and in-flight.
Targeted Improvements: Increase the heat rejection capacity of the spacecraft by15% without changing the radiator surface. Higher dissipated power of an electronic unit with a more compact design.
Description: Withstate-of-the-art thermal design, the highest thermal gradient on the spacecraft is internal to electronic power unit housings (temperature difference between primary component junction and the unit baseplate). Significantly reducing this gradient would eitherreduce the size and mass of electronic units while simultaneously increasing reliability, or would allow higher dissipating components to be accommodated in the same size housing size. Embedding two-phase structures into the housing has the potential to reduce the internal thermal gradients significantly. Previous activities have confirmed feasibility of using two-phase components to transport heat from electronic components to the housing, hence a solution is feasible that could allow a unit typically mounted in the panel 65°C zone to be accommodated in the 85°C zone without exceeding the components' maximum allowed junction temperatures.
This activity shall explore advanced manufacturing techniques to create a highly thermally conductive electronic power unit housing (e.g. two-phasetransport channels directly integrated inside the circuit board stiffener frame). The heat shall be transported from the componentsto the unit baseplate, creating an isothermal electronic chassis. Furthermore, the internal capillary structure design shall removea current on-ground testing constraint and allow unit testing in any orientation. After selecting material and manufacturing processes an Engineering Model shall be designed, manufactured and tested in multiple orientations, and the results correlated to predictions.