Heat Rejection at Low Air Density for Very High Altitude Aircraft

Period of Performance: 12/03/2010 - 12/02/2012


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Enig Assoc., Inc.
4600 East West Hwy Array
Bethesda, MD 20814
Principal Investigator


The modeling of our heat transfer concepts and the examination of experimental test configurations has led to a test device comprised of several elements: a thermoelectric cooling and power conditioning stage, a waveform generation stage, and a pulsed discharge cooler stage. The proposed Phase II work discussed here is predominantly focused on a laboratory demonstration of the pulsed discharge stage to be carried out by subcontractors Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and HY-Tech Research. The experimental and analytic campaign described here will culminate in the required demonstration of heat transfer out of our pulsed discharge cooler stage of 50kW over 20 hrs or more. Modeling improvements are planned to address more fully the electrodynamics of ionization within the device, the role of NOx ions, and non-local transport phenomena. We are also coupled with a diagnostic effort to allow the validation of the air chemistry code. The experimental campaign will begin with low voltage assessments of our proprietary cathode in vacuum and extend these to full level operation in vacuum and in air. Further experiments will explore the heat transfer in the discharge, beginning with single pulses, and later moving to long, repetitive operation leading to time demonstration test series.