Skip to main content

Effective Thermal Management Techniques for Reliable Aerospace PCBs

Headshot of Amit Bahl

Amit Bahl

Sierra Circuits

The thermal management techniques you must know

Thermal management techniques for boards that go into space are a complex topic. Thermal control systems (TCS) present in aerospace vehicles maintain the temperature of different components without being impacted by the external environment. An effective TCS is critical in aerospace applications due to the increasing power and miniaturization of space electronics. As a designer, you must address potential thermal issues in the early stages of your design.

Aerospace PCBs need to be built keeping in mind the space, manufacturing, and temperature constraints. These boards call for low loss and low CTE dielectric materials. Surface finishes and conformal coatings increase durability as they act as protective barriers in harsh environments. Incorporating heavy copper layers (3 to 5 ounces), thermal vias, adequate conductor spacing, heat sinks, and cooling fans are some common heat dissipation methods. In addition to this, grouping components with similar thermal properties can facilitate easier heat regulation.

Mil grade boards should follow class 3 specifications with strict adherence to IPC 2220, IPC 6012ES, IPC-A-600, IPC-610, and AS9100 standards. Following these benchmarks is crucial to ensuring the reliability and durability of your aerospace electronics.

Passive thermal management system maintains constant component temperature without using powered devices. This is done by using thermal interface materials, heat pipes, radiators, thermal straps, sunshields, and multilayer insulation. Active TCS requires input power where temperature regulation is carried out using cryocoolers, heaters, and thermoelectric coolers.

In this webinar, our PCB design and manufacturing experts will take you through the design considerations and effective thermal management techniques for your aerospace circuit boards.


What you’ll learn:


  • Fundamentals of aerospace thermal control system
  • How material selection and thermal interfaces help in regulating board temperature
  • Heat dissipation techniques using heavy copper, thermal vias, heatsinks, and cooling fans
  • Regulatory standards for aerospace circuit boards
  • Passive and active thermal control systems and their features


Presented by Amit Bahl

Amit has been in the PCB industry for 20+ years and knows all about the issues caused by bad thermal management techniques in aerospace boards. He is the Chief Revenue Officer at Sierra Circuits. His passion is to empower tech companies to achieve their visions and change the world. Rockets going into space, self-driving cars taking up the streets, cancer-fighting medical devices, protecting the country, he’s ready to build any circuit board!

Watch the Trailer
Screenshot from Effective Thermal Management Techniques for Reliable Aerospace PCBs

Complete our form to unlock this webinar!

Talk to a Sierra Circuits PCB Expert today

24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call us: +1 (800) 763-7503
Book a Meeting with a Sales Rep
Email us: through our Customer Care form