Thermal Modeling of a Chip Based Cold-Atom Inertial Navigation System



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


48th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Inertial Navigation Units provide positioning data of an object when Global Positioning Systems are unable to do so. An anticipated main component of some future inertial navigation systems is a cold atom chip, that produces an electromagnetic field to corral atomic clouds into a viewing position. One challenge of chip integration is the high-power requirement to generate the electromagnetic fields, resulting in large heat fluctuations which can interfere with the atomic cloud generation. A thermal model of the cold atom chip was developed to investigate the potential benefit of incorporating advanced thermal technologies to mitigate thermal effects. Solution verification was performed using the Grid Convergence Index approach to evaluate model simulation results. The simulation results show that incorporation of an advanced thermal technology – namely an oscillating heat pipe - into the inertial navigation units allows for more power to be dissipated at a faster rate, resulting in the possibility of quicker and more precise navigation.


Erich Brown, COSMIAC
Brenton Taft, Air Force Research Laboratory
Rachel Oliver, Air Force Research Laboratory
Kevin Irick,Applied Technology Associates
ICES202: Satellite, Payload, and Instrument Thermal Control
The 48th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA on 08 July 2018 through 12 July 2018.


Oscillating Heat Pipe, OHP, Cold-Atom, Inertial Navigation