Air Force

Composite panel with integrated thermal control

Biologically inspired multifunctional composite


Thermal imageTechnological advancements in materials, sensors and computing have driven demand for higher performance satellites. Satellites need to be much more capable in a much smaller size with a longer life time.

The AFRL has developed a unique composite load bearing panel that integrates thermal control within the panel itself. The multifunctional design was inspired by the circulatory system of biological organisms.

The thermal controlled panel integrates cooling channels into a rib-stiffened structure in such a way as to maintain the stiffness-to-mass ratio of a traditional panel. Different fluids provide different benefits based on need and application.

Alternative Uses:

  1. Advanced designs: UAVs, automotive, fuel cells, aerospace, transportation and manufacturing, alternative energy
  2. Medical/Health Care: Prosthetics, assistive devices, therapeutic devices
  3. Computing: Integrated thermal control within case and rack structures
  4. Construction: Thermal control within walls, floors, and ceilings

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