A Novel High-Conductance Thermal Interface for Aerospace Electronics

Period of Performance: 05/15/2013 - 02/14/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: Current separable thermal mechanical interfaces (STMIs) found in advanced digital processing electronics are unable to efficiently remove dissipated heat from the active electronics, limiting electrical performance far below their capability. The standard approach produces high thermal resistance (~1.0°C-in./W) with local variations in excess of +/-25%, severely limiting allowable electronic power levels. We propose to develop an innovative STMI that produces high contact forces and increases useful contact area, by minimizing the surface-to-surface separation that results in non-uniform interface pressure found in current approaches. By redesigning the mechanical interface and locking mechanism, our approach will achieve a factor of ten (10) decrease in thermal resistance, reduce local variations to below the state of the art, and result in a highly reliable interface that is maintenance free for lifetimes exceeding 10 years. In Phase I, we will demonstrate the feasibility of our concept by analyzing and building an STMI that achieves a thermal resistance that meets or exceeds the Air Force s goals. This will establish the foundation for further development and technology transfer to our commercialization partner at the completion of Phase II. BENEFIT: Our innovation reduces thermal resistance in slice-based plug-and-play electronic card cage applications and enables use of higher power electronic architectures. Commercial applications include advanced digital signal processing electronics for small space satellite applications.