1990-09-01

Thermal Control of a LIDAR Laser System Using a Non-Conventional Ram Air Heat Exchanger 902019

This paper describes the analysis and performance testing of a uniquely designed external heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is attached externally to an aircraft and is used to cool a laser system within the fuselage. Estimates showed insufficient cooling capacity with a conventional staggered tube array in the limited space available. Thus, a non-conventional design was developed with larger tube and fin area exposed to the ram air to increase the heat transfer performance. The basic design consists of 28 circular finned aluminum tubes arranged in two parallel banks. Wind tunnel tests were performed to simulate air and liquid flight conditions for the non-conventional parallel bank arrangement and the conventional staggered tube arrangement. Performance comparisons of each of the two designs are presented. Test results are used in a computer model of the heat exchanger to predict the operating performance for the entire flight profile. These analyses predict significantly improved performance over the conventional design and show adequate thermal control margins.

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