ISR to develop system for thermal management on aging military aircraft

Dec. 1, 2005
Engineers at ISR in Liberty Lake, Wash., are developing next-generation common thermal-management systems for the U.S. Air Force current and future aircraft.

By John McHale

WICHITA, Kan. - Engineers at ISR in Liberty Lake, Wash., are developing next-generation common thermal-management systems for the U.S. Air Force current and future aircraft.

ISR won a U.S. Air Force contract award across several platforms to help cool upgraded aircraft systems that were not designed to handle the temperatures created by modern electronics, says Karsten Olsen, director of marketing at ISR.

ISR can cool the system inside or outside the box and what the Air Force wants to do is cool these electronics at a system level, he adds. The contract does not involve new technology-just a new way of integrating ISR’s technology into older systems, Olsen says.

“Leading-edge technology affordability demands that we are able to leverage commercial electronics rather than continually develop customized, expensive military versions,” says Lt. Col. Philip E. Louden Jr., Aging Aircraft Systems Squadron Commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

“ISR will lead a team to develop a common reconfigurable thermal-management system that can be affordably deployed to host advanced electronics on multiple cross cutter legacy and future military aircraft in support of evolving requirements.”

ISR has selected the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Aerospace Support Division, Cessna Aircraft Corp., and Wichita State University (WSU) National Institute for Aviation and Research (NIAR) to support the development. All of these Partners are located in Wichita, Kan.

SprayCool technology from ISR will enable Air Force personnel to cool electronic in aging aircraft.
Click here to enlarge image

“The team of ISR, Boeing, Cessna, and along with the Aging Aircraft Systems Squadron will provide our military with a solution that will go a long way in supporting our warfighters,” says U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., who represents Wichita. “It is vitally important that we recapitalize our aircraft and keep them flying with the latest in avionics technology.”

The system-level approach when applying SprayCool technology will provide the most efficient benefit to the Air Force as compared to one line-replaceable unit (LRU), Olsen says. The program will be managed out of ISR’s Wichita offices.”

The spraycooling process consists of a nonconductive and noncorrosive coolant that is atomized and sprayed directly onto electronics to provide cooling, ISR officials say. The coolant vaporizes and heat is rejected to the enclosure and/or through a heat exchanger, condensing the vapor back into a liquid state. The process continuously cycles within a closed loop sealed enclosure that prevents corrosive environmental contamination from harming sensitive electronics.

ISR’s high-altitude solutions are designed to operate over extended temperature and altitude ranges, -65 to 72 degrees Celsius and higher than 70,000 feet. For more information on SprayCool technology visit

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