Purdue University Forms Industry Research Consortium to Create Temperature Control Technologies for Short-Burst Energy Systems Written 18 February 2015

by Duane Hyland, AIAA Communications (2008–2017)

Purdue University has created the Center for Integrated Thermal Management of Aerospace Vehicles (CITMAV). The consortium is comprised of The Boeing Company, Rolls-Royce Corporation, Honeywell International Inc., and Lockheed Martin Corporation, along with academic partners from the University of Illinois, Wright State University, the University of Dayton, and the University of Texas at Austin. They will work together to create temperature-control technologies for short-burst energy systems on aerospace vehicles.

"This consortium injects key industrial partners whose involvement is necessary to achieve the goals of the center," said Tom Shih, AIAA Fellow, and a professor and head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a member of the research team led by Timothy Fisher, director of the center, and James G. Dwyer, professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue.

CITMAV’s goal is the development of thermal-management systems for applications that require high levels of power spanning from a few seconds to several minutes. The heat loads come from electronic devices or aerodynamic heating caused by friction with the air when traveling at high supersonic speeds.

"Electronic components, for example, can have significant inefficiencies, which means that a very large amount of heat must be handled and removed at the source," said Fisher, who is leading work to develop new thermal-management approaches with nanoscale carbon materials. "You have to maintain a very narrow temperature window or they will not work properly,” Fisher continued, explaining that “advanced materials are needed to handle spiking fluctuations of heat.”

New technologies to control temperature could improve performance and bring to fruition more compact systems. The systems intermittently draw large amounts of power in pulses that generate equally large bursts of heat.

In addition to Shih, three other AIAA members are taking part in the CITMAV effort: AIAA Fellow Stephen D. Heister, director of Purdue’s Maurice J. Zucrow Laboratories and the Raisbeck Engineering distinguished professor for Engineering and Technology Integration in Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics; AIAA Senior Member John Doty, associate professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems at the University of Dayton; and AIAA Member Rory Roberts, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Wright State University.