Many design teams, which ideally include heat transfer specialists and reliability engineers, consider temperature to be a significant factor affecting the performance and reliability of avionics equipment. Unfortunately, in an effort to improve performance and reliability, thermal management techniques have often been employed without fully understanding the impact in terms of cost, weight, size, and the extent of any actual performance or reliability improvement.
This paper provides a perspective of temperature and related thermal information as an input parameter which can impact the avionics life cycle, as a means to discuss the role of heat transfer analysis in avionics equipment development. We begin by examining the influence of temperature on performance and reliability. We then examine opportunities for variability in the heat transfer analysis of avionics equipment. Then an approach to assess the needed accuracy level in thermal analysis of avionics equipments is presented to aid in efficient and timely heat transfer analysis. We conclude with recommendations on how to use the temperature related information for design of avionics.
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