Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. announced today, Thursday, December 15, 2022, that the U.S. Air Force intends to fund ACT’s Phase I SBIR proposal, “Enabling Thermal Solutions for Future Laser Weapon Systems”. Development will be supported by a commercial partner, who will provide industry knowledge on High Energy Laser (HEL) diode heat loads and general design guidance.
As the military continues to extend the power delivery of HEL systems, heat fluxes reaching hundreds of Watts per square centimeter are becoming commonplace. Some researchers have reported heat fluxes even exceeding a kilowatt per square centimeter. ACT’s proposed system was originally developed for high-frequency (> 100 GHz) Gallium Nitride (GaN) transistors and demonstrated successful heat flux management above 300 W/cm2. In the Phase I program, ACT will extend this thermal management technology to HEL diode arrays and further push the limits of this approach. The system combines the benefits of Pumped Two-Phase cooling, namely long transport distances and high heat transport capacity, with the high heat transfer performance of thin film evaporation. Thin film evaporation is of particular importance as incredibly high heat transfer rates can be achieved. However, this mechanism is often restricted by maintaining the film through sufficient liquid delivery. ACT will address this through a unique porous media structure at the heated surface that will passively match the liquid delivery rate to the evaporation rate.