Have you ever wondered about the source of the buzz that comes from your computer? Likely to be a fan, trying to ventilate the internal components. This is a typical cooling system.
I am not a rocket scientist, but in general, such as electronic components become tinier and more powerful, the amount of heat they generate is proportionately higher. This is because the simple fact that there are simply not enough surface area for heat to spread quickly. Therefore, all the computers processor and high-end graphics cards come with a heatsink with a fan on top. Take off the radiator and you cook the ingredients in seconds.
However, little progress in the equipment room where no air or moisture to help conduct heat and you have an even greater challenge. And that is exactly what NASA has been exposed.
According to NASA, Jeff Didion, thermal engineering Goddard Space Flight Center, and the electronics, thermal control is always one of the limiting factors. He co-Jamal Seyed-Yagoob, Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, a partner with SU Air Force and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to find ways to push the envelop thermal-control barriers.
The new cooling device of the future from NASA.
The result is the new electro hydro dynamic (EHD) technology-based thermal management, revealed yesterday that promises to make it easier and more effective to remove heat from small spaces. This solution is designed to meet a particular challenge for engineers to build advanced space instruments and microprocessors, which can fail if the heat they generate is not removed.
The prototype of the thermal control technology is a new small pump, the size of a pinkie finger, which, besides the cooling function is designed to withstand extreme loads such as launching a rocket taking off and rushes into the space. The pump will be shown in June on a mission rocket designed to carry microsatellites into space. “If the device to survive the vibration, the technology has reached a milestone in its development,” said Didion. “That means it is at or near operational status, making it a viable technology for use in space flight instruments.”
While the device is called a prototype pump has no moving parts. According Didion, contrary to current technologies used today by cooling the developers of tools and components no EHD does not rely on mechanical pumps and other moving parts. Instead, they use electric fields to pump coolant through tiny channels within a cold plate heat. From there, the waste heat discharged on a radiator and dispersed away from heat sensitive circuits that must operate within certain temperature ranges.
The fact that there are no mechanical parts that required a new cooling system is lighter, uses less power (about 0.5 W) and, especially, can be scaled to different sizes, the greater the cold plates of electronic components micro-scale devices and lab-on-a-chip. If you want to see how it would work, except for a small pump tested the prototype rocket in June EHD cold plate is also used to test the international space station in 2013.
Meanwhile, Didion says, the team is working to keep growing EHD, such as the development of EHD pumps in the microchannels that are etched on silicon wafers. The next step is to put technology in the circuit, with the ultimate goal of the ladder to the chip level in the pipes does not exceed 100 microns, or about the width of a human hair.
There are no data available on technology costs to the amount, but hopefully in the future apply to the applications practical, like a computer chip. Then do not have to worry about finding a cooling water system or a big fan if you are big on overclocking.
When polarized sunglasses will help develop and increase the use of Velcro, this could be the next, the best thing – literally – that NASA had to offer.