Whether it is to dissipate the heat generated by electronic components or to extend the service life of silicon sensors, thermal management is one of CERN’s main design concerns. CERN is developing very small and efficient cooling devices capable of operating in harsh environmental conditions of temperature, vacuum and radioactivity.
These devices include innovative pulsating heat-pipe concepts, either as extremely miniaturised devices for thermal control at component level (3D-printed or micro-fabricated in silicon or flexible materials), or as larger ultra-light structures embedded in carbon panels for radiators and cold plates.
Some technologies are especially useful for applications requiring powerful thermal control. Rocket nozzles can benefit from additive manufacturing techniques optimised for refractory metals like niobium. In the same way, titanium is interesting for both accelerators and telecom satellite payloads testing, to shape high power spiral radiofrequency loads. In addition, an advanced alloy with record high thermal conductivity properties has been developed for dissipating extreme heat fluxes.
CERN develops very small and efficient cooling devices, as well as advanced materials and processes for high thermal flux control