General Atomics partners with Australian company to develop heat exchanger for RPAS

MQ-9B SkyGuardian. Image: GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) announced recently that it is partnering with Conflux Technology out of Australia on the development of a heat exchanger. A metal Additive Manufacturing process will be used to develop this part for possible integration onto GA-ASI’s line of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

“GA-ASI and Conflux are developing novel and state-of-the-art thermal solutions for application to our existing and next-generation RPAS,” said Linden Blue, GA-ASI CEO. “This will allow enhanced endurance and lower manufacturing cost, as well as more flexibility in our product design and integration.”

As an Additive Manufacturing applications company, Conflux Technology specializes in thermal and fluid engineering and is providing design expertise in the optimization of Additive Manufacturing heat exchangers to increase the performance of RPA.

“Fundamental efficiency gains require heat transfer innovations. In Conflux we have a highly innovative engineering team that blends first principles thermo-fluid dynamics with design creativity and Additive Manufacturing process expertise,” said Michael Fuller, Conflux Technology CEO. “Conflux heat exchangers derive their performance from highly complex geometries enabled by Additive Manufacturing. Our scientists and engineers, alongside their GA-ASI counterparts, will now develop heat exchange applications to improve fundamental efficiencies for GA-ASI’s RPA systems.”

Under Project Air 7003, Australia selected GA-ASI’s MQ-9B SkyGuardian variant recently to provide the Armed RPAS for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This puts Australia in the group with other military forces who have selected MQ-9 to fit their operational needs.

GA-ASI is also looking to provide its MQ-9B SkyGuardian for Canada’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft System project and is one of two qualified suppliers. The other is L3 Technologies MAS Inc.

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