Technology borrowed from a kitchen appliance may someday cool military electronics and computer chips that are becoming more powerful and generating more heat, researchers at Purdue University have found.
The breakthrough, a micro-channel heat sink, is a 1-inch2 copper plate that contains numerous channels just 231 microns wide—about three times the width of a human hair—and 713 microns deep. Heat is removed as coolant circulates through these channels—a concept based on the evaporator component that contains a labyrinth of coolant tubing in household refrigerators.
According to the Office of Naval Research, key sponsor of the research, future warships and combat vehicles will have high-power electrical systems that generate waste heat densities approaching 1,000 W/cm2, which is beyond the cooling capacity of existing fan-based systems.
"We're trying to develop a solution before the demand is out there," comments Issam Mudawar, mechanical engineering professor and leader of the research, adding that a big mistake is to develop cooling solutions "after the fact." Mudawar, who co-authored two papers detailing the research methodologies (http://rbi.ims.ca/4391-504; http://rbi.ims.ca/4391-505), says he has received inquiries from chip manufacturers and satellite companies, as well as automakers who are developing hybrid vehicles.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.