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Ultra-efficient Thermoelectric Cooling Module for Satellite Thermal Management

Description:

OBJECTIVE: Develop an ultra efficient thermo electric cooling module (TECM) to manage satellite payload waste heat and/or convert waste heat into electricity. DESCRIPTION: Recent DARPA sponsored research points to the potential for a revolutionary advance in solid state cooling efficiency due in part to developments in thin-film cooling devices, which have been shown to exhibit a two to three times efficiency advantage over the current generation of TECM"s. As the burden on digital processing increases to accommodate ever increasing satellite payload functionality, site-specific cooling will play a crucial role in thermal management in future payloads. While terrestrial systems can sometimes use fluid based cooling systems, reliability concerns with potential for fluid leaks in space-based systems will likely drive future cooling designs towards solid state cooling approaches. The purpose of this topic is to support system level design and development of an integrated, distributed thin-film, thermoelectric cooling system suitable for removing waste heat in satellite payloads, including the sensor, control and actuators. Design goals include minimization of the board area and weight dedicated to cooling, capacity to transfer heat from high wattage devices, cooling efficiency, flexibility to support a broad range of board layouts, compatibility with commonly used Printed Wiring Boards (PWBs) in military satellite payloads, reliability to support long term (>15 year) satellite missions, ability to withstand long term exposure to the geosynchronous earth orbit space environment. Specific technical requirements that must be met include: - Accommodate component heat loads of at least 0.5 W/cm^2 (threshold) and up to 50 W/cm^2 (objective) - Provide cooling capacity of at least 5 W (threshold) and up to 150 W (objective) per component - Maintain IC hot spots less than 86 degreesC (threshold) and 76 degreesC (objective) All aspects of the thermal control system must be compatible with the space environment and conform to space qualification requirements including high vacuum, microgravity, radiation, atomic oxygen, low outgassing, and high launch loads. Proposed technologies will be judged based on their thermal performance, reliability, cost, and mass, as well as on the integration complexity/cost with respect to current board/box/component designs. Proposers are encouraged to team with system integrators and payload providers to ensure applicability of their efforts and to provide a clear technology transition path. PHASE I: Design distributed thermoelectric cooling system suitable for use in space based payloads and validate through modeling and simulation. PHASE II: Fabricate a prototype distributed system, including sensors, actuators, controller, and TEC devices and characterize for cooling capacity, efficiency, weight, power, reliability, radiation tolerance and operating temperature range. PHASE III: Military products that benefit from light weight TEC systems include space electronics such as digital, analog and mixed mode assemblies. Commercial products that benefit from TEC systems include automotive industry. REFERENCES: 1. Eliza Strickland,"A New Kind of Cool Startups are advancing solid state cooling systems,"IEEE Spectrum, vol. 48 no. 6, June 2011, pp. 16. 2. R.E. Sorace, V.S. Reinhardt, and S.A. Vaughn,"Embedded Thermoelectric Coolers for Semiconductor hot Spot Cooling,"Intersociety Conference on Thermal and Thermal-mechanical Phenomena in Electronics Systems (ITherm 2006), May, 2006. 3. G. Jeffrey Snyder, Marco Soto, Randy Alley, David Koester, Bob Conner,"Hot Spot Cooling Using Embedded Thermoelectric Coolers,"Proc. Semiconductor Thermal Measurement, Modeling and Management Symposium (SEMI-THERM 22), March 2006, p. 135-144.
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