This Request for Information from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) seeks information on new approaches and technologies for dynamic thermal management, to address various application conditions and usage environments.
Thermal management requirements and technologies for microsystems under sustained adverse operating and environmental conditions are an active area of investigation for size scales ranging from nanometers to meters. Most system operational conditions, however, are transient. Current thermal management approaches typically handle these conditions via over-provisioning of resources, or increasing the size of thermal management hardware. Size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) are an increasing concern in the development of future microsystems. Technologies targeting the thermal requirements on a dynamic basis may allow for significant improvements in SWaP-C for next generation high-performance microsystems. Technologies explored in the literature depend on the size and time scales associated with the dynamic operation, which typically involves variations in operating conditions, and/or the ambient environment.
Approaches for improved dynamic thermal management have explored advances in acquisition/storage, transmission, and environmental rejection. Also explored is the use of computational modeling for thermal control. While many of these approaches are useful in meeting the needs of certain applications, they often do not meet requirements of higher heat fluxes, duty cycles, harsh ambient environments, and mechanical vibration.
The focus of this Request for Information (RFI) is to gain a better understanding of the state-of-the-art (SOA), and emerging technologies available to meet dynamic thermal management requirements for increasing demanding operational and environmental conditions.
DARPA seeks innovative insights to address the technical challenge areas described in the following paragraph. Responses are welcome from all capable sources including, but not limited to, private or public companies, individuals, universities, university-affiliated research centers, not-for-profit research institutions, and U.S. Government-sponsored labs. DARPA is interested in responses that address the following areas:
- Descriptions of recent innovations that have significantly extended the capabilities compared to the SOA in acquisition, transmission, and rejection of heat under dynamic conditions. Of interest are innovations that can address specific temporal and spatial scales, former ranging from microseconds to 1000s of seconds, and latter from nanometers to meters. These approaches may be based on heat conduction, phase change (e.g., solid/solid, solid/liquid, liquid/liquid, liquid/vapor), convection, and radiation.
- Hybrid approaches involving a combination of these, or other mechanisms for energy transformation with viable conversion efficiencies are also of interest. A comparison of the current and potential future performance of these approaches with the SOA is required.
- Approaches already well explored in the published literature, or those that can provide incremental benefits are not of interest.
Responses to this RFI should be submitted to [email protected] The due date for responses is March 31, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. (ET).