Military programs adopt SprayCool liquid-cooled electronics enclosure for harsh environments

SprayCool in Liberty Lake, Wash., maker of thermal management solutions for the military, won contracts to provide liquid-cooled electronics chassis to two significant programs—the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) and the U-2 Dragon Lady high-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

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By Courtney E. Howard

Editor's note: SprayCool was acquired by Parker Hannifin Corp. in March 2010.

SprayCool in Liberty Lake, Wash., maker of thermal management solutions and electronics enclosure technology for the military, won contracts to provide liquid-cooled electronics chassis to two significant programs—the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) and the U-2 Dragon Lady high-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft.

SprayCool, formerly known as Isothermal Systems Research (ISR), is supplying sealed, rugged enclosures to General Dynamics for the command variant of the Marine Corps EFV. The units will support hardware and software integration throughout the system design and demonstration (SDD) phase, says a representative.

The EFV is designed to assist Marines in combat by making the most of tactical surprise, minimizing vulnerability on land, and improving firepower, lethality, and survivability. The platform also delivers on-the-move command-and-control (C2) capabilities; at the heart of the EFV’s C2 architecture lies the Multi-Processor Unit (MPU), which SprayCool is providing.

In the Marine Corps EFV, commercial-grade electronics are housed in a SprayCool nine-slot enclosure with the company’s two-phase liquid-cooling technology. The system can operate in temperatures ranging from -40 to 60 degrees Celsius.

Five servers, a switch, an I/O board, and two expansion cards populate the rugged, sealed enclosures. The MPU ensures the boards meet the temperature, vibration, and electromagnetic interface (EMI) requirements of MIL-STD 810F and MIL-STD 461.

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SprayCool’s rugged, sealed, and liquid-cooled chassis, such as this Multi-Platform Enclosure (MPE), are well suited to military applications in harsh environments.
Click here to enlarge image

SprayCool also won a contract with Northrop Grumman Corp. to provide SprayCool liquid-cooled chassis for the Air Force Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) program.

The SprayCool chassis will support the operational sustainment of three systems installed on the Air Force’s U-2 Dragon Lady high-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. The company is delivering a 20-slot VME chassis able to support as much as 1,200 watts of power.

The ASIP electronics operate in a tightly controlled environment that modulates between heating and cooling throughout a mission. The SprayCool two-phase liquid-cooled enclosure maintains optimum operating temperatures for computing and power electronics in the chassis, lending to improved electronics performance and reliability.

The thermal-managed chassis enables the installation of the U-2’s ASIP sensor in unpressurized sections of the aircraft. In fact, the primary reason Northrop Grumman officials selected SprayCool’s solution was that the enclosure enables installation of high-performance signal processors in unpressurized areas of the aircraft, says Matt Gerber, president and chief executive officer of SprayCool.

“This SprayCool temperature-controlled chassis supports the inclusion of RF [radio-frequency], digital, and other enabling electronics, and provides reliable and consistent collection of reconnaissance information at high altitude, even in unpressurized aircraft, and this helps keep ground warfighters out of harms way,” Gerber adds.

The SprayCool liquid-cooled chassis will be delivered to Northrop Grumman this year.

For more information, visit SprayCool online at www.spraycool.com.

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