For drone-mount, weight is a big consideration. Can the metal heatsink be replaced with a fan or perhaps removed if the airflow from the drone is exposed to the board? Does the CPU/GPU auto-throttle if the temperature gets too high?
The airflow might not be consistent, it is not recommended to attempt running the module without some form of heatsink or cooling. You could try a smaller heatsink though, Or other ideas.
Regarding the CPU/GPU auto-throttle, please refer to L4T document ->thermal/power management for detail.
So Jetson Nano needs both metal heat sink and a cooling fan or any one either cooling fan or passive metal heat sink? Please confirm. We have the plan to operate the device in 10W power mode.
On the devkit, the fan is optional, it will operate just fine under load with the heatsink only. Some users may not prefer the heatsink to get very hot though, so they can add a fan if they want. The heatsink is always required though.
If you are designing your own device using Nano, your requirements may be different depending on factors like airflow, but some type of heatsink or cold plate will be used.
For continuous 10W operation a heatsink+fan is required to keep the chip temperature within the specifications.
Failure to provide sufficient cooling will lead to clock throttling and performance degradation.