ROCKLEDGE, FL – March 31, 2009 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a leading research and development company specializing in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop a vapor-compression-based thermal management system for reliable operation in harsh airborne environments.
Vapor-compression thermal management systems have shown tremendous potential in recent studies to overcome many of the limitations with existing aircraft thermal management architectures. However, few efforts have been made to ensure the reliability of these systems while managing the majority of onboard thermal loads with rapidly changing thermal requirements and thermal resources. Mainstream’s solution is to develop a modular system configuration that uses an advanced control system to establish a reliable design and to fully evaluate the system’s potential.
The experimental system developed for this investigation will incorporate representative aircraft thermal loads and will be exposed to various steady and transient modes of operation. The information that is gained from these experiments will be used to validate the potential of vapor-compression technology for these applications and to optimize the design of future airborne thermal management systems.