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GA-ASI continues work with Conflux in additive manufacturing as UAS leader partners with Australian supplier on Fuel Oil Heat Exchanger for MQ-9B
Monday, 26 September 2022

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is working with long-time collaborator Conflux Technology on the design and manufacture of a new Fuel Oil Heat Exchanger (FOHE) for the MQ-9B. GA-ASI is developing this enhanced thermal solution for its MQ-9B SkyGuardian® and SeaGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

GA-ASI is a leading developer of unmanned aircraft, and Conflux is a thermal management system solution company headquartered in Australia. Conflux is a pioneer in mastering Additive Manufacturing (AM) for heat exchanger applications. The two companies have worked together since 2018 to develop heat exchangers for aerospace.

“GA-ASI wants to optimize and augment the performance of our current units by minimizing the differential pressure across the FOHE,” said Stephen Eiting, vice president of Manufacturing Operations for GA-ASI. “We want to maximize the overall heat extraction capacity, while looking for opportunities to lower the mass and volume of the FOHE.”

Another GA-ASI objective is to develop an AM heat exchanger design that can be 3D printed, post-processed, and bench-tested. As part of this most recent purchase order, Conflux will produce a fully functional prototype unit that can be tested by GA-ASI.

"Our mission is transforming heat exchanger performance. For our project with GA-ASI this means drop-in replacements that remove thermal load and maintaining a compact profile, while also increasing performance to meet higher system demand. When you are leading the charge on advanced technology, you need a world class team and agility to do it right. This is where Conflux comes in,” said Abe Masoud, Business Development Manager – North America.

The two companies have worked on four different AM projects since 2018. Most recently the two teams have leveraged AM to develop a cold plate heat exchanger (HX) that provides additional cooling capacity for its high-dissipation Line-Replaceable Unit (LRU) used in various GA-ASI's UAS platforms.

Contact details from our directory:
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) Airframer
Conflux Technology Additive Manufacturing, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Engineering Design Services
Related aircraft programs:
General Atomics MQ-9