Designing a Thermally Optimal Data Acquisition UnitDownload PDF
With the drive for data acquisition units (DAU) to have higher channel densities, be smaller and faster, and the trend towards distributed network architectures, thermal considerations are more important than ever and must be taken into account. Excessive heat can lead to malfunctions and/or shorten the lifespan of electronics. Some industrial, military, and aerospace applications face heat dissipation challenges that require careful mitigation strategies. For example, flight test instrumentation (FTI) is comprised of high performance data acquisition systems (DAS) that are required to operate reliably in harsh environmental conditions.
Conduction, Convection and Radiation in Data Acquisition Units
Keeping components inside a DAU cool is, in theory, simple and easy. One just needs to ensure they make good thermal contact with the chassis, add a big heat sink and some fans to the chassis, and bolt the DAU to a big chunk of metal in a well ventilated location.
However, this scenario is rarely practical, and while it does sometime happen that DAUs have large heat sinks and are located in large racks with forced air cooling, this is far less common and much less desirable than it used to be, and not an option for more compact aircraft.
This white paper examines DAU heat challenges including dissipation, and the best strategies to meet size and performance constraints without compromising data integrity with excessive heat build-up. Read about:
- Heat dissipation
- Flight test instrumentation (FTI)
- Data acquisition units (DAU)
- Remote nodes