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Design and Testing of Passive Sensor Cooling Using Phase Change Material

[+] Author Affiliations
Julie Pecson, Craig Perkins, Ab Hashemi

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company

Paper No. IMECE2005-80676, pp. 61-65; 5 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Part B
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4222-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Passive heat rejection from a weapon system deployed in space is a challenging problem. This paper describes the development of a phase-change material mini heat sink to absorb the heat from a laser diode for the required operational scenario. Three mini heat sinks made of aluminum, copper, and copper tungsten were designed and manufactured. Phase change material (PCM) was selected to accommodate required heat dissipation from a laser diode. Metal fins, attached to the metal casing of the heat sink, were placed into the PCM to uniformly spread the heat and achieve effective heat transfer. Analytical models were developed to predict the performance of the heat sink. The heat sink was manufactured and initially tested in the laboratory with simulated heat load. Then, tests were carried out under prototypical conditions and the performance of the sink was demonstrated. A comparison of the analytical predictions with data also showed excellent agreement. This paper presents the design, modeling, manufacturing, testing, and comparison of the predictions with experimental results.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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