Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

new generation of High thErmAl efficiency componenTs PACKages for space

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HEATPACK (new generation of High thErmAl efficiency componenTs PACKages for space)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2019-01-01 do 2019-12-31

HEATPACK aims to develop and validate critical technology building blocks for enabling transformative packages for space applications with very low thermal resistance. This is to fully exploit the potential of wide-bandgap technologies which are now being considered as critical in space applications in particular. Benefits will range from improved performance to increased components reliability and lifetime. HEATPACK concepts for achieving high power/high thermal efficiency packages include:
- Diamond based composite materials with a thermal conductivity >600W/m.K to be used as baseplate,
- Silver sintering based Thermal Interface Material (TIM) for components assembly,
- TIM for package to structure assembly with both electrical and thermal enhanced properties (in excess of 10W/m.K)
- Innovative cooling solutions with strategic implementation possibilities (baseplate, lid, structure…). Using these technologies, two different modules implementing Gallium Nitride (GaN) components will be developed: a power supply DC-DC converter module and a RF High Power Amplifier.
The spectrum of applications addressed is wide: from Telecommunication to Navigation and Science/Observation missions, especially for optimizing the thermal management of the payload’s output amplifying and power supply sections.
To secure a fully European supply chain for high power components thermal management, it is expected to raise the technologies developed to a Technology Readiness Level of 6, demonstrating commercial viable solutions providing reliability levels compliant with space environment.
The first activities have focused on the definition of all the specifications for the packages, electrical demonstrators and key technology building blocks (TIM1 and 2, diamond composites and active cooler) to be developed, based on the inputs already available at proposal stage. On the basis of these specifications, architecture trade-offs, inputs and know-how brought by the partners, a preliminary design has been achieved for three packages (2 for RF HPA applications, 1 for “LF” DC-DC converter function).
Regarding TIM1 material development (micro/nanometal based paste), thermal and mechanical analysis have been carried out on samples implementing five different products, focusing first on the challenge of assembling bare Si chips on baseplates with various surface finishes. Promising results have been obtained with some pastes, and investigations are in progress in particular for improving the adhesion.
The development of the advanced adhesive film solution to be used as a TIM at second level has started with an extensive literature survey on nano-materials for high thermal and electrical conductivity adhesives. Then, the end-to-end process towards the desired product form and performances has been setup. The first adhesive films have been achieved, and several batches have been produced and delivered for characterization.
Concerning the active cooler technology, the first test vehicle of a silicon-based baseplate with integrated heat pipes has been designed and fabricated. The tests carried out on the demonstrator show that the principle works properly.
Several compositions of copper-diamond grades have been investigated using modified matrix materials and processing parameters, reaching thermal conductivity values in core material of >600 W/mK. Silver-diamond composite development using powder metallurgical processing, as well as the possibility to achieve thinner materials, has also been explored. Seven different grades have been prepared and included in a comprehensive test plan aimed at evaluating the stability of their performance (thermal and mechanical) under thermal stresses. In parallel, a thermo-reflectance characterization method is being studied, tailored for the measurement of layered/composite materials.
The preliminary designs created for the 3 packages allowed the first thermal, electrical and thermo-mechanical simulation work to be undertaken. An implantation layout has been defined and the preferred components selected for the three electrical demonstrators being considered, and trials have also been performed to anticipate the assembly of critical components.
For each elementary technology building block developed within the project it is expected to achieve state of the art or beyond state of the art performances. The combination of these technologies should lead to transformative packages with very low thermal resistance, allowing end-users to increase their competitiveness on the targeted markets.
The modules for microwave applications developed in HEATPACK address a key equipment within the satellite’s payload: Solid-State Power Amplifier. By taking benefit of GaN technology, SSPAs can significantly increase their market share against Traveling-Wave Tube Amplifiers, in particular provided that effective packaging/assembly techniques are available for the thermal control of power components. For RF package version 1 (metal micro-package), the main target are navigation applications and in particular the needs related to Galileo Second Generation program, whereas version 2 (SMD package) is intended to satellite’s output power section for new telecom markets with innovative/digitalized payloads. The volumes related to these new GaN SSPA markets at mid-term are subject to significant variations but high quantity opportunities are expected, namely several thousands of units. The “LF” module/package, as a basic, generic and compact building block, could be used (once up to more than ten times) in all medium to high power supplies, generator or electric motor drive used on spacecraft, on any type of mission.
Beyond these first markets, the outcomes of HEATPACK could have wider and different fallouts, and the project positioning in regards to available relevant roadmaps, related to space and possibly non-space domains, confirms this statement.
Another significant impact foreseen and core objective of HEATPACK is to put in place a supply chain at European level for high power/high dissipation packages for space applications. The project activities might develop or regain in the midterm the European capacity to operate independently in space, e.g. by developing in a timely manner reliable and affordable space technologies that in some cases already exist outside Europe or in European terrestrial applications.
The project also has an indirect impact on social issues. Indeed, developing and enhancing Navigation and Telecommunication satellite solutions contribute to lives improvement and life chances of people around the world. In addition, the employment impact should be positive as the HEATPACK approach can cluster to other sectors like optics, automotive etc. developing materials and packaging manufacturing lines in Europe. Environmental protection is also addressed as Earth observation satellites could also take profit of HEATPACK outcomes, possibly using its advanced technologies. Finally, the project aims for human health preservation as, for instance, the TIM2 developed is firstly dedicated to the replacement of a current reference widely used in the space domain, which has been identified as potentially hazardous for human being according to REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.
Example of HEATPACK's achievements in the development of critical technology building blocks