Dr. Nathalie Kopp, Mentor Graphics Corporation
Many industries have need for high reliability systems but in Avionics an unreliable system becomes a safety issue as well as exposure of the system supplier to significant warrantee, recall and reputation costs. And as the demand for more functionality and higher performing systems, squeezed into small form factors (such a predefined cockpit units) is the norm, the management of the heat produced by the circuitry becomes a significant challenge.
This article demonstrates how thermal transient testing combined with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can help find this balance and ensure that safety critical devices work within their prescribed temperature limits.
This paper presents the thermal analysis performed on an aircraft engine Electronic Control Unit (ECU) installed in the engine environment. Part of the nacelle and ECU are modeled with and without cooling air, as specified by the engine manufacturer. Different geometric configurations are simulated providing boundary conditions for a detailed thermal analysis of the ECU itself.