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High-Performance Leading Edge Heat Pipes, Phase II

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: High-Performance Leading Edge Heat Pipes, Phase II
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8650-06-C-3613
Award Amount: $749,297.00


Aerothermal heating on the nose tip and leading edges of the Falcon hypersonic vehicle will create stagnation point temperatures that are beyond the limits of most materials. Furthermore, because Falcon has the requirement of being reusable, the challenges are even greater. Heat pipes offer a solution to this problem by providing a high thermal conductivity path for transferring heat from the hot leading edges to cooler areas of the vehicle where it can be radiated away. In Phase I, Ultramet designed and fabricated several low-cost lithium heat pipes using novel fabrication and wick concepts. One of the heat pipes was tested, and it was highly successful. Although not tested at maximum capacity, the measured performance data matched model predictions quite closely. In Phase II, Ultramet will characterize the two novel wick architectures in greater detail, determine which of the two heat pipe fabrication techniques is better suited to use in a leading edge, and select the best wick and fabrication processes for use in an actual leading edge. A detailed design will be developed for the heat pipe-cooled leading edge, and a demonstrator article will be built and tested. Lockheed Martin will provide input on the performance requirements for the leading edge and assist in the overall design effort; Advanced Cooling Technologies will provide assistance in the manufacture of the heat pipes and engineering support for their integration into the leading edge; and NovaTech will perform the detailed design of the heat pipe-cooled leading edge.

Principal Investigator:

Arthur J. Fortini
Director of Science & Tec

Business Contact:

Craig N. Ward
Engineering Administrativ
Small Business Information at Submission:

12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331

EIN/Tax ID: 952662293
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No