Reducing material cost and optimising thermal performance of a satellite dish heat sink Challenge The client wanted to reduce material cost of the heat sink in their low-noise block (LNB) downconverters by reducing the heatsink mass. The new design also needed to provide improved heat removal to allow utilisation of more efficient, lower-cost electronics. Solution We used CFD modelling to compare improved heat sinks, using the original design as a baseline validated by practical testing. The final design resulted in a mass saving of 15.5 g while ensuring thermally critical electronic devices were cooled below recommended maximum operating temperature. Details CEAD’s client was looking at methods of cost reduction in their highly competitive marketplace. The heat sink was identified as a component for which mass and therefore production cost could be reduced. Improving the heat sink was an opportunity to update electronic components to more efficient, cheaper versions. These updated components required an increased rate of heat removal which was incorporated as an additional design requirement. CEAD conducted a thermal study of the current heat sink design in order to benchmark future CFD predictions against known experimental results. CFD and experimental results were found to correlate well. CEAD could then proceed with confidence in the CFD predicted results and develop a new heat sink design. After three iterations, an optimum heat sink design was produced which was then rapidly prototyped and tested, finding good agreement between predicted and experimental performance. The new design was then approved by the client and implemented. The designed produced by CEAD successfully met the client’s requirement to maintain key electronic components below maximum operating temperature while also providing a mass saving of 15.5 g.