Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Modular Scalable Cold Plates for Naval Electronics

A new design and manufacturing approach to edge-cooled naval electronic cold plate assemblies will improve performance and reduce manufacturability issues. Raytheon image


The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) is leading an Integrated Project Team (IPT) to develop friction stir welding (FSW) processes to join modular heat exchangers to form a larger cold plate assembly based on a system designed and developed by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. The use of FSW will provide lower distortion, improved weld strength and quality, and improved overall system affordability.


Thermal management of edge-cooled naval electronic assemblies presents unique performance and manufacturability challenges to system designers. Current approaches are limited due to relatively high thermal and hydraulic resistance and generally low manufacturing yield from a limited supplier base. These challenges are most significant in Active Electronically Scanned Array radar applications, where high thermo-fluidic performance, large size, high strength and precision interface characteristics are required.


A 40 percent reduction in cold plate acquisition cost is targeted using this modular, scalable technical approach. The total potential cost savings for DDG 1002, CVN 79 and five DDG 51 Flight III hulls is $2.7 million. In addition, the size and relative simplicity of the modular heat exchangers will increase the number of vendors with equipment and personnel capable of manufacturing naval cold plates.


The hardware developed in this project is expected to be used on the AN/SPY-3 X-Band Radar component on DDG 1002 (FY18) and CVN 79 (FY19). The technology is also applicable to AMDR-S production for DDG 51 Flight III (FY16). Pending successful demonstrations, the cold plate technology developed in this effort will be incorporated into the radar system at the radar supplier’s facility. The overall radar system is expected to be implemented once it is installed by the weapon systems’ shipbuilders.




Dr. Lawrence Dressman
Above Water Sensors Program Office (PEO IWS2)


Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division
Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems