Aerospace engineers reveal their top challenges for 2021

New research from Future Facilities – developer of the 6SigmaET thermal simulation software – has unveiled the top thermal challenges and trends faced by the aerospace industry in 2021.

Conducted as a roundtable discussion, the research brings together thermal engineering experts from some of the world’s leading aerospace companies, including Ten Tech LLC, CMC Electronics, Thales Group, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) and Future Facilities. Key conclusions from this discussion have been released as a free report: Thermal Focus: Areospace 2021.

According to these industry experts, the biggest challenge facing the aerospace industry in 2021 is the need for ever more functionality to be embedded onto compact, more highly-engineered solutions. This complexity is resulting in a higher power density, running a greater risk of thermal complications and overheating. To prevent such problems, the experts identified liquid cooling and cold plates as the most viable solutions currently available to aerospace engineers.

The second key challenge identified by the panel is an uptake in the use of commercial components that are not specifically rated to the limit required for extreme aerospace environments. To overcome this — and ensure the reliability of their designs —aerospace engineers are relying on ever more advanced CFD simulations, running components through numerous parametric variations in a huge variety of different environments.

The Future Facilities report also revealed that aerospace engineers are now turning to 3D printing early on in the design process, as a faster, more flexible, and more agile way to create prototypes. According to the report, “Eventually, developments in 3D printing will ensure that engineers will be able to print materials for volume use in real-life scenarios.” This trend, however, requires a whole new way of working, something which many engineers are yet to adapt to.

Commenting on these findings, Chris Aldham, Product Manager at Future Facilities said, “For most electronics, thermal faults can be frustrating and cause product delays or recalls. But in the aerospace industry, the consequences of a thermal failure can be catastrophic.

“Accurate thermal management is vital to ensuring the safety and reliability of aerospace designs, with electronics being regularly exposed to the harshest environments, temperature fluctuations and extreme weather conditions. Our Thermal Focus report explores these challenges, offering the latest expert advice from those working within the aerospace industry. Through these insights, we hope that engineers can make better decisions when it comes to the thermal management, simulation and overall performance of their electronic designs.”

Following the roundtable, Future Facilities has released the key findings of the discussion as an e-book that aerospace engineers can use to contribute to their understanding of these key issues and their decision-making processes.

To download a copy of Future Facilities ‘Thermal Focus: Aerospace’ report, visit:

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