E-mc3 - Technologie (Efficient MagnetoCaloric Cooling Components)


  1. Application of Magnetocaloric Cooling Components in Satellite Systems (IRAS)
  2. characterisation of magnetocaloric cooling components for use in satellite systems (IPKM)
  3. demonstration of magnetocaloric cooling components under space environment (DSI)

Project Description including at least 2 graphic/video:

   The regulation of the thermal balance in a spacecraft is a complex process. Passive mechanisms are mostly based on simple heat radiation and insulation strategies, which are not always sufficient. Especially for payloads, which process and transmit large amounts of data, complex and expensive active mechanisms like cooling (medium) circuits or thermoelectric coolers have been necessary until now. The trend towards satellites that process ever larger amounts of data and for intelligent (AI) on-board processing, as well as the miniaturization of satellite systems, poses a challenge for future thermal systems. Therefore, the proposed technology should provide a new, efficient way of thermal management based on magnetocaloric cooling. The aim of E-mc3 is to develop a new type of chip and component cooling functionality, initially adapted to the special boundary conditions and modes of operation in space environment, which can then be generally transferred to payloads such as laser terminals.


Figure  1: Principal of magnetocaloric cooling

Figure  2: Proof of Concept

Magnetocaloric cooling (MKM), i.e. cooling by adiabatic demagnetization of a magnetic solid, originates methodically from low temperature physics. It uses the magnetic field dependence of the entropy of (ferro)magnetic solids. The temperature of a magnetocaloric material can be reduced by cyclically magnetizing and demagnetizing it.

The idea of E-mc3 is now to further develop this process for applications in space technology. This includes optimizations regarding the miniaturization of such systems, thermal management and magnetic field control. In particular, it is proposed that step (i) can be performed during the eclipse in Earth orbit, whereby a component that is not under heavy use (e.g. OBC or camera CCDs) is first heated without this heating having a strong impact on temperature management. The heat dissipation in (ii) should then not be done by a cooling medium, but "naturally" by the heat radiation in orbit during the eclipse. Thus, no complex handling of cooling media is necessary. Phase (iii) then occurs as soon as the component is under "load" and heats up. The cooling medium is demagnetized and the coupled component is thereby cooled.

Project Term:

01.10.2019 – 30.09.2022


The project is carried out in cooperation with the following partner:

Contact Person:

Dipl.-Ing. Benjamin Grzesik

Tel: +49 531 391 9988

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