Developing Next-Gen Cooling Systems For Aircraft Avionics <


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Developing Next-Gen Cooling Systems For Aircraft Avionics

By Antonio Percy

March 12, 2010 - Fairchild Controls Corporation, an EADS North America company, has signed a teaming agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to evaluate innovative cooling system technologies for avionics and mission systems aboard military aircraft.

The Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) will result in the joint development and operation of a multiple-evaporator vapor cycle system prototype at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

The next-generation cooling system will use multiple independent evaporators to provide variable cooling to electronic equipment, eliminating the need for an auxiliary liquid cooling loop. This concept – developed by Fairchild Controls for the Air Force – has the potential to reduce power consumption, minimize weight, and improve overall reliability for military aircraft.

Additionally, the advanced vapor cycle system design is expected to significantly improve mission performance by enabling the avionics to operate under precisely controlled isothermal conditions. To begin the evaluation process, Fairchild Controls will work with AFRL scientists, engineers and technicians in designing and building an experimental test stand, which will be installed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“Our common goal is to prove new concepts and develop innovative technology that will benefit U.S. and allied warfighters for decades to come,” said Fairchild Controls President Scott Selle. “This is our second alliance with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and we’ll build on the strong working relationship we’ve already established.”

Under the terms of a separate contract awarded in May 2009, Fairchild Controls is part of an industry team that is developing new concepts and system architectures for an Adaptive Power and Thermal Management System (APTMS) with the Air Force Research Laboratory. The APTMS is one of three focal areas addressed in the AFRL’s Integrated Vehicle Energy Technology (INVENT) Program, and the system has successfully passed its initial program design review milestone. “These are advantageous projects with AFRL that allow the Fairchild Controls team to work with some of the best research and development scientists in the industry,” Selle added.


Fairchild Controls Corporation designs and manufactures vapor cycle systems, air management systems, control electronics and air turbine drives and environmental controls for military and commercial aerospace and defense applications. Fairchild Control’s cooling VCS and air management systems provide cooling for externally mounted aircraft pods that carry targeting, navigation, reconnaissance, and electronic countermeasure systems for U.S. and foreign military services. Their air turbine drives supply supplemental hydraulic and electrical power for a variety of aircraft. The company is headquartered in Frederick, Maryland.

EADS North America is the North American operation of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services. As a leader in all sectors of defense and homeland security, EADS North America and its parent company, EADS, contribute over $11 billion to the U.S. economy annually and support more than 200,000 American jobs through its network of suppliers and services. Operating in 17 states, EADS North America offers a broad array of advanced solutions to its customers in the commercial, homeland security, aerospace and defense markets.

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