Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications

Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications - Aircraft Image - Parker AerospaceToday’s sophisticated aerospace and defense electronic systems are driving significant increases in power densities, resulting in complex thermal management challenges. Advances in semiconductor manufacturing continue to raise the watts per square inch paradigm — multiple devices in close proximity and kilowatt levels of heat dissipation. Directed energy weapons are now a reality as laser diodes and enabling fiber optics to bring total heat dissipations into the tens of kilowatt range.

Whether you are a thermal design engineer looking for an efficient, dependable cooling solution to perform in the most extreme, mission-critical applications, or a program manager focusing on procuring a solution at the lowest risk and lowest cost, selecting the right thermal management system provider is critical to performance and safety. This blog offers important factors to consider when choosing a thermal management system partner.


Product range and performance

What is thermal management? In simple terms, it is collecting heat in one location and then transporting it to a place where it can be safely rejected. A typical system will consist of some kind of cold plate (or liquid-cooled enclosure) and a plumbing system that will move the liquid or liquid/vapor mix to where the heat exchanger is located. The heat exchanger can be a simple radiator (in the case of a liquid-to-air heat exchanger) or something more complex such as a liquid-to-liquid heat exchanger. Any system solution is totally dependent upon the platform and the environment. Components are needed to collect (cold plates); move (pipes, connectors, and pumps), and dissipate (heat exchangers) the heat. Therefore, designing an efficient and SWaP (size, weight, and power ) focused solution requires a wide-ranging portfolio of components and systems experience as well as the engineering know-how and design flexibility to tackle today’s highly complex thermal management challenges.



Thermal management is not new, but today's technological advances and the need to utilize them bring the discipline into sharp focus. Selecting a thermal management supplier is a challenge. Consider that most of the solutions that have been developed over the past decade have resulted in a proprietary design as part of a commercial solution or are deeply secretive with a system deployed for defense purposes. To that point, datasheets and press releases cannot be generated for systems that reside on high altitude UAVs or aircraft. To gain an understanding of expertise in this environment, the supplier's engineering reputation, qualifications of the team, and proven track record of success should be examined. 


Efficiency and cost effectiveness

Enabling a design approach at the highest possible (system) level will always achieve the most efficient solution in both cost and performance; hence, the term thermal management. An in-depth knowledge of each of the components and sub-assemblies that comprise the complete system ensures maximum efficiencies at the points of interconnection. Advanced manufacturing techniques support the requirements for a better SWaP and also enable shorter times to market. This provides an engineered solution from concept to support. A one-supplier solution will maximize efficiency and keep overall program costs in check. 



Whether you are designing, manufacturing or servicing, global support is an inevitable need. Be sure your supplier provides a full spectrum of global service and support around the clock — wherever and whenever you need it.


A supplier you can trust

With a corporate commitment to quality and service that now spans 100 years, Parker Hannifin is known worldwide for its engineering excellence. Parker’s Aerospace Group is comprised of many divisions worldwide with hundreds of thermal and fluid management engineering experts. 

All thermal management components, sub-assemblies, and systems are designed and manufactured by Parker Aerospace, guaranteeing quality, availability, support, cost-effectiveness, and an unrivaled breadth of component expertise.

Parker Aerospace is a partner you can depend on for system performance and survivability in mission-critical applications under the harshest conditions, including extreme temperatures, shock and vibration, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) radiation.


Wide range of integrated solutions

By reducing SWaP requirements, Parker Aerospace Group’s system solutions are highly efficient and provide unique advantages for maximizing performance and lowering overall project cost. Innovative product technologies combined with engineering expertise result in higher heat removal, greater design flexibility, and guaranteed electronics survivability.

Parker Aerospace offers the broadest range of thermal management solutions available, providing liquid-cooling technologies applied at the chassis, module, board, component and system levels. 


Thermal management products


Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications - chassis - Parker AerospaceParker Aerospace’s liquid-cooled enclosure product line is engineered, scalable architecture using both liquid flow-through (LFT) and SprayCool™ technologies. The enclosures are designed to meet MIL-STD-810F, MIL-STD-461E and VITA 58 requirements. These liquid-cooled enclosures enable customers to deploy reliable, robust and cost-effective thermal solutions in ruggedized military, aerospace, and commercial applications.


Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications - Cold Plates - Parker AerospaceCold plates

By using standard components specifically designed and tested for harsh military environments, Parker Aerospace’s cold plate and component cooling solutions deliver localized cooling of hot spots with low development costs. These cooling solutions are well-suited for radar, power electronics, and high-performance computing.



Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications - Heat Rejection System - Parker Aerospace

Heat rejection systems

Parker Aerospace’s heat rejection units (HRUs) are designed for high-performance cooling and fluid management in space-constrained environments. The HRUs remove thousands of watts of heat from fluid to air or to a secondary fluid. HRUs manage coolant temperature based on measured system parameters to create a “set and forget” thermal management solution. Ruggedized designs are built to withstand the harshest environments for military, aerospace or commercial applications.


Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications - System Components - Parker Aerospace

System components

Combining diverse fluid-handling experience and products enables Parker Aerospace to provide highly engineered, integrated system solutions for the most challenging thermal management needs. Innovative OEM design implementation, combined with premier customer field support, delivers a total life-cycle engineered solution. 

Parker Aerospace develops scalable, flexible global support programs tailored to individual customer needs with a full spectrum of services, including around the clock local support, online inventory, in-region engineering support, spare parts, ground-support equipment, field service, overhaul and repair services, and training.



Whether it’s for mission electronics for ground combat vehicles, shipboard antenna arrays, manned or unmanned military or commercial aircraft, choosing the right thermal management solution supplier is critical for reliable operation and electronics survivability in the most extreme conditions. Reputation, engineering expertise, performance, integrated system solutions, and global support are all factors to consider.

Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications - Aerospace Thermal Management Brochure - Parker AerospaceTo learn more about Parker Aerospace thermal management capabilities and solutions, download this brochure.







This blog was contributed by Michael Humphrey, business development, thermal management solutions, Gas Turbine Fuel Systems Division  Parker Aerospace.


Related posts

Aerospace Technologies and Key Markets

Innovations Drive Weight and Emission Reductions for Aircraft Engines

Keeping Aircraft Fleets Healthy Around the Clock and Around the Globe

Operational Initiatives Target Zero Defects and On-Time Delivery

Global Reach Expanded with Around-the-Clock Service and Pooling Centers

Introduction to Fluids Employed in SprayCool Products


Have a question about Parker products or services? We can help: Contact Us!

Comments for Selecting a Thermal Management System Supplier for Aerospace and Defense Applications

Please note that, in an effort to combat spam, comments with hyperlinks will not be published.

Leave a comment