Hot technology keeps its cool

Pipe

Caught between the heating effects of unfiltered sunlight and the absolute cold of deep space, satellites must regulate their own operating temperature. A typical telecom satellite is threaded with hundreds of heat pipes for thermal control. These contain a liquid such as ammonia that evaporates when heated, carrying waste heat to a colder part of the satellite. At this point the liquid condenses so that the process can repeat itself. Belgian company EHP is transferring this technology to terrestrial markets, enabling the development of more powerful electronic systems better able to handle waste heat. EHP has achieved a turnover of €3 million.

Last update: 13 November 2012

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