The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is the world's fastest survey radio telescope. Designed and engineered by CSIRO, ASKAP is made up of 36 'dish' antennas, spread across a 6km diameter, that work together as a single instrument called an interferometer. The key feature of ASKAP is its wide field of view, generated by its unique phased array feed (PAF) receivers. Together with specialised digital systems, the PAFs create 36 separate (simultaneous) beams on the sky which are mosaicked together into a large single image.
The remote location (Murchison desert, WA) demanded diesel generator power which creates emissions, noise (vibration), and incurs $100,000 ongoing running costs per year.
JHC Specialised Solutions were engaged to conceive and develop a viable passive thermal transfer design concept to accommodate the anticipated 440W (dissipated & environmental) heat load.
We were chosen due to our partnership with Thermacore and our experience in practically understanding client’s requirements in line with mechanical design capabilities of the associated products.
This was a new challenge that required creative ideas and understanding the bounds of associated mechanical design. 100+ hours of finite element thermal analysis was needed, utilising ThermFlow software to replicate worst case scenario’s and ensure the concept was viable. This involved two mechanical engineers from Thermacore. JHC acted as the design intermediary and was in constant contact with the clients appointed project and design staff. This process of design review evoked many changes as the concept evolved and took several months before a final prototype could be commissioned.
A 1200mmD aluminium disc was populated with 129 embedded heatpipes. This disc absorbed the evenly distributed 280W dissipated heatload. The 8x Outer Rings Assys then pulled the thermal load toward the outer edge and transferred it into the TEC Assembly. Force converted airflow was generated by a single top mounted low-pressure fan pulling through carbon fibre ducting which shrouded the TEC Assemblies. Once the system equalises this design provides controlled thermal transfer of the generated heatload (pics included).
JHC Specialised Solutions, CSIRO engineers, and Thermacore mechanical engineers worked together to successfully derive a solution within the bounds of mechanical limits and integration concepts based on traditional heat pipe technology.
System designed targets were achieved, with the benefits to client being minimal power demand, emissions almost totally removed, improved operation performance due to reduced noise (vibration).