Project Code: 18042
Project Title: Size, Weight, and Power Optimization for Aircraft Cabin Avionics Unit
Project Type: Industry
Project Intellectual Property: Company Controlled
Project Citizenship Restriction: No
Sponsor Company: ACSS, An L-3 Communications and Thales Company
Description: The aviation industry continues to make avionics platforms smaller, lighter and more integrable for aircraft manufacturers and their airline customers. The team was tasked with developing a method to cool one of the sponsor’s avionics units being moved out of the avionics bay and into the aircraft fuselage itself, where active cooling options are not available. The designed heat management system conforms to industry standards and passively cools the avionics unit while keeping size, weight, power usage and cost low. The team modeled four thermal management alternatives using computational fluid dynamics simulations and thermal testing before selecting the most appropriate solution. This resulted in the design, validation and implementation of an entirely conductive pathway-based heat management system. The heat from the components is conducted into the electromagnetic interference shielding on the board via thermal standoffs, then conducted into the enclosure using thermal bridges. The heat in the enclosure is dissipated via conduction into the mounting rails of the aircraft, and by convection from the enclosure surface into the fuselage crown air gap.