. 24/7 Space News .
NASA Microgap-Cooling technology immune to gravity effects and ready for spaceflight
by Lori Keesey for GSFC News
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Nov 01, 2019

Ground crew recover experiments that launched on the reusable New Shepard rocket on which the microgap-cooling technology flew twice.

A groundbreaking technology that would allow NASA to effectively cool tightly packed instrument electronics and other spaceflight gear is unaffected by weightlessness, and could be used on a future spaceflight mission.

During two recent flights aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket, Principal Investigator Franklin Robinson, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and Co-Investigator Avram Bar-Cohen, a University of Maryland professor, proved that their microgap-cooling technology not only removed large amounts of heat, but also carried out this all-important job in low- and high-gravity environments with nearly identical results.

The demonstrations, funded by NASA's Flight Opportunities program within the Space Technology Mission Directorate, opens the doors for the technology's use on a future spaceflight mission, Robinson said. The technology development was also supported by the agency's Center Innovation Fund.

"Gravity effects are a big risk in this type of cooling technology," Robinson said. "Our flights proved that our technology works under all conditions. We think this system represents a new thermal-management paradigm."

With microgap cooling, heat generated by tightly packed electronics is removed by flowing a coolant - in this case, a fluid called HFE 7100 that doesn't conduct electricity - through embedded, rectangular-shaped microchannels within or between heat-generating devices. As the coolant flows through these tiny gaps, it boils on the heated surfaces, producing vapor. This two-phase process offers a higher rate of heat transfer, which keeps high-power devices cool and less likely to fail due to overheating.

The embedded cooling approach represents a significant departure from more traditional cooling technologies. With more conventional approaches, designers create a "floor plan." They keep the heat-generating circuits and other hardware as far apart as possible. The heat travels into the printed circuit board, where it is directed eventually to a spacecraft-mounted radiator.

Designed Initially for 3D Circuitry
Robinson and Bar-Cohen began developing the microgap technology about four years ago to assure that NASA could take advantage of next-generation 3D circuitry when it became available.

Unlike more traditional circuits, 3D circuits are created by literally stacking one chip atop another. Interconnects link each level to its adjacent neighbors, much like how elevators connect one floor to the next in a skyscraper. With shorter wiring linking the chips, data can move quickly both horizontally and vertically, improving bandwidth, computational speed and performance, all while consuming less power and occupying less space.

Despite its advantages, 3D circuitry presents a particular challenge for potential users both on Earth and in space: the smaller the space between the circuits, the harder it is to remove the heat, jeopardizing performance due to overheating. Because not all of the chips are in contact with a circuit board, traditional cooling techniques wouldn't work with 3D circuitry. The emerging technology avoids this problem by running coolant within and between the stacked circuits.

Although originally conceived for use in 3D circuitry, microgap cooling could help a host of spaceflight electronic devices, including power electronics and laser heads. They, too, are shrinking in size and need an effective system for removing heat from tightly packed spaces. "We see an application for microgap cooling in any power-dense electronic device used in space," Robinson said.

Prior to the two flights, Robinson and Bar-Cohen had tested their cooling technology at various orientations in a laboratory. However, they needed to certify the technology's operation in space and under varying gravity environments. With the successful demonstration, Robinson believes the cooling technology is ready for primetime. "I think we're now at the right technology-readiness level to implement embedded cooling on flight projects," he said.

For more Goddard technology news, go here

Related Links
NASA's Flight Opportunities program
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

OMG developing new standard for interface for Software Defined Radios
Needham MA (SPX) Oct 30, 2019
International technology standards organization Object Management Group (OMG) announced it is creating a new standard, through issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) for the Platform Space Telecommunications Interface (STI) for Software Defined Radios (SDRs). The objective of the RFP is to expand the Software Radio Components Specification to support future space communications. "For space missions, Software Defined Radio (SDR) systems are deployed in environmental conditions that require unique ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

US vows closer cooperation with French space agency

Nanoracks and Kayser to jointly open temperature controlled microgravity research on ISS

Travel boom has not made world smaller, says writer Pico Iyer

Falklands banking on king penguins to drive nature tourism

US Air Force hosts hypersonics pitch day

DARPA updates competitor field for flexible, responsive launch to orbit

Air-breathing engine precooler achieves record-breaking Mach 5 performance

New rocket fairing design offers smoother quieter ride

Mars Express completes 20,000 orbits around the Red Planet

Mars 2020 stands on its own six wheels

New selfie shows Curiosity, the Mars chemist

Naming a NASA Mars rover can change your life

China plans more space science satellites

China's absence from global space conference due to "visa problem" causes concern

China prepares for space station construction

China's rocket-carrying ships depart for transportation mission

European network of operations centres takes shape

SpaceX to launch 42,000 satellites

D-Orbit signs contract with OneWeb in the frame of ESA project Sunrise

Space: a major legal void

Las Cumbres helping to develope a Cyberinfrastructure Institute for Astronomical Data

What About Space Traffic Management?

New procedure for obtaining a cheap ultra-hard material that is resistant to radioactivity

OMG developing new standard for interface for Software Defined Radios

TESS reveals an improbable planet

Building blocks of all life gain new understanding

Simulations explain giant exoplanets with eccentric, close-in orbits

Cascades of gas around young star indicate early stages of planet formation

SwRI to plan Pluto orbiter mission

NASA's Juno prepares to jump Jupiter's shadow

Huge Volcano on Jupiter's Moon Io Erupts on Regular Schedule

Stony-iron meteoroid caused August impact flash at Jupiter

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.