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"Mission-Critical" Thermal Management for Military Equipment: Ground, Sea, Air and Space

Military equipment thermal management solutions from Aavid Thermacore stand up to the toughest challenges in the world — from submarine electronics cooling and radar electronics in harsh environments, to satellite thermal control management in space.

Thermacore-home-militaryOur 40 years of thermal technology design, development and manufacturing has helped deliver thousands of solutions that operate in mission-critical applications in the harshest environmental conditions. Aavid Thermacore’s advanced thermal management technologies are a major source of superior solutions to allow our military equipment customers to overcome the size, weight and power (SWaP) constraints in current and future generation electronic equipment.

On the Ground

radar heat pipe thermal solution

To get a high-performance, lightweight and compact cooling solution for next-generation Transmit/Receive Modules used in military radar systems, prime contractors throughout the world turn to Aavid Thermacore for high-performance cold plate technology.These Aavid Thermacore solutions are based on advanced solid conduction (k-Core®) embedded heat pipe technology, vapor chamber heat pipe technology, and vacuum brazed liquid cooling cold plates. These thermal solutions provide high-performance, high-efficiency heat transfer in this space and weight constrained application, with heat pipes and k-Core giving cold plates the weight of aluminum with an effective thermal conductivity more than four times that of copper.

Cooling solutions for military ground-based radars use our experience in sealed enclosure cooling technology, providing reliable performance in extreme temperatures, rain, sand and snow.That includes reliable electronics cooling for communications and target acquisition in tanks and Humvees, where displays and electronics — as well as thermal solutions themselves — face sweltering heat, high humidity, shock and vibration.

Military electronics cabinet cooling is provided by compact, rugged and versatile cross-flow heat exchangers that resist everything from shock and wind to micro-organisms. These military cooling solutions provide superior performance and take advantage of our experience in power electronics heat management.

On the Sea

destroyer thermal management

Highly efficient radar electronics and power supply cooling for next generation naval destroyer radar systems are an area of expertise for Aavid Thermacore heat pipes and cold plates.These technologies are specially designed for high thermal performance, low mass, and rugged conditions, including thermal cycling between -40° and 75° C.

Navy antenna cooling is the mission of the heat pipe assemblies used to reduce heat load on USG-2 Naval planar array antenna assemblies (PAAA). Able to absorb heavy shocks from weather, thermal cycling and impact, these superior Aavid Thermacore liquid cooling systems provide peace of mind for Navy warships all over the world.

Power conversion electronics cooling is provided by embedded heat pipe assemblies and vapor chamber assemblies from Aavid Thermacore. Aavid Thermacore thermal solutions are used to protect the power subsystems supporting naval radar platforms. In addition, Aavid Thermacore heat exchangers are in action cooling navy electronics as well.

In the Air

fighter aircraft loop heat pipesAavid Thermacore patented encapsulated graphite k-Core heat pipes are cooling critical electronic components on the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), providing improved thermal performance over traditional graphite conduction solutions at lower cost.

Loop heat pipes from Aavid Thermacore provide highly reliable electro-optics cooling for target acquisition systems, remote wing electronics and navigational avionics on board the F-16 fighter aircraft, standing up to extreme temperatures and up to 9 g of force. It’s a performance typical of our thermal solutions for aerospace and avionics.

Superior thermal protection of radar systems for U.S. Coast Guard helicopters is the job of Aavid Thermacore remote dissipation heat pipe assemblies, combining heat pipes with fins for better overall thermal performance. For thermal management of aircraft electronics under the most severely cold conditions (down to -70° C), designers turn to Aavid Thermacore heat pipe assembly solutions to maintain temperatures close to the optimum for avionics operation.

In Space

satellite thermal control heat transferFor satellite thermal control and heat transfer, advanced solid conduction, axially grooved low temperature heat pipes, and loop heat pipe from Aavid Thermacore offer the widest variety of high-performance thermal solutions for space applications. Thermacore's k-Core space radiator panels and doublers provide light weight, high-performance heat spreading. Aavid Thermacore's axially grooved low-temperature heat pipes, using ammonia and ethane as working fluids, can be embedded into radiator panels for improving heat spreading within radiator panels over extended lengths. In addition, loop heat pipes from Aavid Thermacore offer high total power dissipation (>2000 W) and light weight (a deployable radiator panel with a weight of <55 pounds). Deployable, honeycomb-bonded panel construction enables reliable performance in the most demanding environment of all — where traditional maintenance is impossible.

Future Developments

Air-cooled heat sink technology is the most efficient, cost-effective and lightweight thermal management solution. But increasing power and heat generation created by today’s advanced microprocessors is threatening to make air-cooled technology obsolete. Aavid Thermacore’s work as Prime Contractor on the Micro-technologies for Air-Cooled Exchangers (MACE) project for Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) promises to extend the useful life of air-cooled military heat sink systems throughout another generation of technology.


Thermal management challenge? Take the first step towards the solution for you. Please contact an Aavid Thermacore technical representative or e-mail for more information on our thermal solution technologies.

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