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Finding the Right Tools for Thermal Design in Aerospace Electronics

5 July, 2017


Electronic designers in the aerospace sector are under significant pressure. They are asked to deliver bullet proof reliability for products that operate in some of the harshest possible environments and product failures will always have catastrophic consequences. This is not a sector where getting the electronics design right is purely about gaining or losing market share, as with consumer devices, the stakes are much higher.

Electronic designers in the aerospace sector are under significant pressure. They are asked to deliver bullet proof reliability for products that operate in some of the harshest possible environments and product failures will always have catastrophic consequences. This is not a sector where getting the electronics design right is purely about gaining or losing market share, as with consumer devices, the stakes are much higher.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that aerospace products are high-power-density, tightly packed, highly engineered products. At the same time, designers must work with limited cooling resources. When you combine these demands the result is that thermal design takes on extra importance compared to other industries.

Indeed, it is fair to say that thermal design and heat removal are one of the most critical aspects of aerospace electronics design. The question for designers is finding the right tools to deal with these challenges in the most efficient way possible without sacrificing performance or size in the final products.

ATR Chassi Aerospace

While there are a number of general purpose general-purpose CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and tools on the market, these tools have severe limitations when it comes to the extremely high demands of aerospace electronics design and simulation. Creating suitably accurate simulation models with general purpose tools can be extremely difficult and time-consuming – in particular because of the complex geometries often involved in aerospace products. Model and grid/mesh creation can quickly absorb significant amounts of time.

Aside from the need for more automated modeling and gridding, the ability to automatically model physics such as altitude corrections, internal radiation and multi-fluid (e.g. liquid cooling) is another critical capability that aerospace designers need that can be challenging to model using general-purpose tools.

So rather than ‘make do’ with general-purpose tools, aerospace designers need to take advantage of more specialised thermal design and simulation tools.

6SigmaET not only enables complex modeling and analysis tasks to be conducted in lightning quick time - in as little as one hour rather than days - but also has the ability to simulate several different environmental and physical scenarios built-in. This might be in terms of different altitudes, ambient temperatures or liquid cooling pump inlet temperature variation.

Where the demands for reliability and performance are high there is simply no way to shortcut the design process – designers need the right tools for the job if they are to complete projects efficiently, accurately and safely. We have worked closely with our customers in the aerospace sector to ensure 6SigmaET delivers the exact functionality you need.

We are hosting an aerospace seminar on July 18th 2017 at The Proud Bird Aviation Museum, Los Angeles.

For more information, visit here