Specification Reform of Avionics Thermal Design Criteria – An F-15 Case Study 2001-01-2156
Traditional thermal design criteria for avionics equipment are reviewed. Several studies have recently been conducted on the F-15 to assess accuracy of these design criteria. An overview of the study approach and results are presented. Specific topics investigated include: emergency cooling air provisions, cold start-up, hot start-up, normal and transient bay temperatures, and altitude design. The results indicate that many existing design criteria are overly conservative.
The study findings suggest that reform of the existing thermal specification process is needed. Many of these reforms are applicable to the general aerospace industry and may result in significant acquisition cost savings as a result of the trend toward usage of commercial electronic parts. The reforms suggested include a new performance based thermal specification approach that increases emphasis on aircraft usage and frequency of occurrence. New transient design criteria are also recommended. Questions are raised regarding adequacy of the current equipment qualification process when using the reforms presented. Additional work in this area is suggested.