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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

Mercury Systems offers new method for cooling circuit boards

04 June 2017

Mercury Systems announced that its Air Flow-By cooling capability passed flight tests in multiple manned and unmanned airborne platforms with some of these examples in their final mission configurations, thereby achieving technology readiness level 8 (TRL-8).

As the demand grows for faster processors to handle the increasing amounts of data, and as electronics continue to shrink in size, cooling is becoming a driving factor in improving component and subsystem reliability.

However, cooling components such as a printed circuit board (PCB) with air presents some challenges, Richard Jaenicke, director of market development and strategic alliances for Mercury Systems, told Jane's .

Components can have different power fluxes and power consumption so it is possible to have very hot processors, medium hot memory, and cooler components all sharing the same space, Jaenicke noted, adding that these components must also be protected from particulates - especially when operating in dirty, windy, or dusty environments - to ensure reliability.

The company describes Air Flow-By as an enclosure that covers an existing component to create a sealed field replaceable unit (FRU).

"You have something that attaches to each component in the board that is not just cooling both sides but [also enables you to] pick it up without touching the electronics that are sealed on the inside," he said.

According to Jaenicke, Air Flow-By can also be retrofitted because it can be wrapped around a PCB or printed wiring board (PWB) and the enclosure is tailored to fit the board. It can also be scaled to fit on various sized boards from a very small 3u (rack unit), to the more common 6u board and all the way up to an 8u board.

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Mercury Systems' Air Flow-By technology cools both sides of a printed wiring board by encapsulating it in a heat exchanger shell, leveraging on airflows across both sides of the module to manage heat. (Mercury Systems)Mercury Systems' Air Flow-By technology cools both sides of a printed wiring board by encapsulating it in a heat exchanger shell, leveraging on airflows across both sides of the module to manage heat. (Mercury Systems)



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