Ferrofluidic Thermal Switch

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8650-11-M-5173
Agency Tracking Number: F112-124-0589
Amount: $149,973.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2011
Solicitation Topic Code: AF112-124
Solicitation Number: 2011.2
Small Business Information
Electro-Optics Systems Division, 20600 Gramercy Place, Bldg. 100, Torrance, CA, -
DUNS: 153865951
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Oleg Galkin
 Senior Research Scientist
 (310) 320-3088
Business Contact
 Gordon Drew
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Phone: (310) 320-3088
Email: gedrew@poc.com
Research Institution
ABSTRACT: To address the Air Force need for a thermal switching device to provide temperature control of DoD system components for improved thermal management, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes to develop a new Ferrofluidic Thermal Switch (FTS). The proposed device is based on the novel dual use of a ferrofluid as a temperature conductive medium and magnetic actuation to control the position of the ferrofluid inside the thermal switch. The new system design and use of ferrofluid as a medium with high-thermal conductivity allow implementation of heat flow switches with a high switching ratio of 10 to 100. A novel magnetic actuation mechanism allows implementation of fast, low-power switching and reduction or total elimination of the number of moving mechanical components, which will increase the reliability and the lifetime of the FTS system. In Phase I, POC will demonstrate the feasibility of our FTS system by developing a system design, extensive modeling, and building and testing a proof-of-concept prototype. In Phase II, POC plans to develop two functional prototypes of the FTS system, demonstrate the system"s capability to function in the temperature range of -60 degrees C to +100 degrees C, and work with heat fluxes of 10 to 100 W/cm^2. BENEFIT: The POC FTS system will provide the Air Force with a modular, active, in-flight, configurable thermal switching device that will allow accurate control of thermally sensitive devices onboard spacecraft and satellites. Thermal switches have a potential to dramatically reduce the amount of analysis and testing required for the development of spacecraft, reduce the mass of the system, and provide a modular solution for heat control. The FTS device can also be incorporated by the Air Force into the thermal control systems of aircraft, which will benefit from the ability of the FTS system to control and modulate the heat flux from the critical temperature-sensitive components. The proposed FTS system will find direct application in a range of commercial applications that require accurate heat flow control. Such applications include thermal control of sensitive aircraft and ground vehicle components. The FTS system can also be used to provide better thermal control for structures and buildings to optimize energy consumption and heat regulation.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Agency Micro-sites

SBA logo
Department of Agriculture logo
Department of Commerce logo
Department of Defense logo
Department of Education logo
Department of Energy logo
Department of Health and Human Services logo
Department of Homeland Security logo
Department of Transportation logo
Environmental Protection Agency logo
National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo
National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government