Dynamic Thermal management for aerospace technology: Review and outlook

J. Doty, K. Yerkes, L. Byrd, J. Murthy, A. Alleyne, M. Wolff, S. Heister, T. S. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Thermal energy is composed, by definition, of randomized carriers and is often an unwanted byproduct of humanengineered functions such as propulsion, communications, and directed forms of other types of energy. This inherent randomness greatly impedes the "orderly" management and control of heat, particularly when compared to electrical energy (e.g., power distribution lines) and optical energy (e.g., fiber optics). The thermal conductivities of common solids, for example, span only a few orders of magnitude, whereas electrical conductivities vary by 10 or more orders. Further, chemical and electrical energy can be stored and released with relative ease, whereas thermal storage materials and systems are typically bulky and inefficient. Motivated by critical aerospace needs to develop transformative thermal management strategies, particularly for high-flux, episodic heat loads within the tightly weight-and volume-constrained environment of aerospace vehicles, this paper provides an overview of prospective strategies and technologies that can address these challenges by exploiting the transient nature of the required cooling while also providing insights into the commensurate uncertainty quantification and control methods that will be essential to their eventual transition to practical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-98
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of thermophysics and heat transfer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2016 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.


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