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02 Mar 15. X-CAN: École Polytechnique and Thales to develop a new generation of lasers. École Polytechnique and Thales signed a partnership agreement on the 9th of February with a view to developing a revolutionary new laser technology. The joint technology development project is part of a renewable, four-year scientific partnership agreement signed by Thales and École Polytechnique on the 11th of March
2014. For this new project, the partners will build on their complementary expertise and experience in laser technologies to develop a new generation of lasers. The research programme, known as X-Can, will capitalise on work conducted by École Polytechnique to apply a new scientific concept developed by several of its research teams and by Thales researchers in Palaiseau. The Coherent Amplification Network
(CAN) concept is based on the use of an array of fibre lasers for amplification and coherent combination of laser beams, a radically new approach to laser system architectures that is expected to achieve exceptional laser shot characteristics. X-Can aims to overcome all the key scientific and technological barriers to the design and development of an experimental laser demonstrator. These innovations in laser technology will open up new avenues of scientific research and ultimately offer numerous practical applications including the transmutation of nuclear waste, proton therapy and isotope production for nuclear pharmacology, as well as design solutions for sub-critical nuclear reactors and even ways to clean up orbital debris in space. Thales’ optronics business, a world leader in petawatt-class lasers, expects the cooperation to bring an important breakthrough in optical efficiency, leading to significantly higher performance at lower cost and opening up new applications for laser technology.
05 Mar 15. Northrop Grumman Corporation has licensed its air-flow-through (AFT) cooling technology, used to improve the cooling of high-power electronics, to GE Intelligent Platforms. AFT technology improves the air cooling of advanced electronic modules by incorporating a novel heat exchanger design that helps protect the modules. AFT is capable of 175 watts of cooling per module and meets the electronic industry’s VMEbus International Trade Association (VITA) 48.5 standard. The VITA standards organization is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
“This innovation opens the door to developing more powerful, rugged electronic systems across the military and commercial electronics fields,” said Tom Jones, vice president and general manager, Advanced Concepts and Technologies, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. “This improvement is a key method of cooling electronic modules that can serve a wide variety of applications.”
Advanced electronic devices generate heat, which can lead to damage or failure if not managed properly. AFT utilizes a central channel with heat fins to isolate electronic components from the cooling air. Air is forced past the heat fins to remove heat without the risk of exposing the electronics to contaminants in the air, a potential problem in other systems. The efficient flow of cooling air is aided by the use of Northrop Grumman’s patented ruggedized, self-aligning, sliding air seals at the inlet and outlet of the modules. The removable electronic modules and seals are easily replaced in the field. Traditionally, electronic devices such as personal computers, have been cooled by a process known as direct forced air (DFA), in which a fan blows air directly over the circuit board and the electronic devices. AFT technology transfers heat into the cooling air more efficiently than the DFA approach, which enables much higher power densities and improved product reliability. Northrop Grumman expects this technology to benefit a broad set of military