Electronics cooling and thermal management: these are the crucial issues that will make network-centric warfare and the digital battlefield a reality

By John Keller

Posted by John Keller

Thermal management -- or cooling electronics in embedded systems and other aerospace and defense equipment -- is one of the central design issues of our times. In fact, electronics cooling is probably the only issue with the potential to bring Moore's Law to a screeching halt.

If designers can't find creative ways to keep systems cool, then they have little prospect of shrinking military electronics systems small enough to make them suitable for the latest generation of infantry soldiers in network-centric operations on the digital battlefield .

New technological capabilities for infantry soldiers is one of the central thrusts of today's military systems development. The guys (and gals) wearing the combat boots need the ability to stay in the field longer than ever before, and they need to be effective while on military operations.

That means they must carry radio communications , electronic navigation and guidance equipment, situational awareness of themselves and those around them, night-vision sensors , laser target designators , and a host of other equipment -- as well as the batteries necessary to run these devices.

Suffice it to say that today's infantry equipment has to be small, rugged, and consume only tiny amounts of power. Without aggressive thermal management, none of this is possible ... and so is developing long-lasting power supplies.

So what are the most valuable lessons learned from recent experiences in the Middle East? You can hear from some of the industry's best early next month who are leading innovations in thermal design from the chip to the system level. It's all at the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum conference and trade show June 3 and 4 in San Diego.

You can hear from Gerry Janicki of Meggitt Defense Systems; David O’Mara of AP Labs; and other industry experts talk about the issues that keep them and their colleagues up at night when it comes to thermal management issues. Make the trip; it's worth it.

Register to attend the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum online at www.pennwellregistration.com/online/LoginServlet?confId=362 , by fax at 918-831-9161 with a downloadable .pdf , or by post with the downloadable .pdf to Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum/Avionics USA Conference & Exhibition Registration, P.O. Box 973059, Dallas, TX 75397-3059.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
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