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An Advanced Thermal Management System for Gimbal-Mounted Sensors

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2009 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2009
Title: An Advanced Thermal Management System for Gimbal-Mounted Sensors
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: W91260-09-C-0024
Award Amount: $999,877.00


Future missile detection systems will require improved thermal management for cooling gimbal-mounted sensors and optics. Current systems utilize cryocoolers placed on the gimbal, which necessitates the cryocooler heat to be rejected directly from the gimbal. A superior approach in terms of payload mass would locate the cryocooler warm elements on the stationary platform near the spacecraft heat rejection system and place only cold elements required to cool optics and sensors on the gimbal. On an SBIR project, Creare is developing an innovative cryocooler for gimbal-mounted sensors and optics. The cryocooler is based on space-proven turbo-Brayton technologies which are being adapted to the unique requirements of this application. The inherent attributes of the turbo-Brayton cycle permit the warm components of the cryocooler to be mounted off gimbal, which drastically improves thermal management and reduces payload mass. The warm and cold components of the cryocooler are connected using custom flexible tubing, which has been demonstrated to provide the flexibility and life required for gimbaled systems. In Phase I, we developed a preliminary design of the cryocooler and its components, produced performance curves, performed trades to establish a packaging and integration concept, and executed proof-of-concept fabrication trials to support the Phase II demonstration.

Principal Investigator:

Mark V. Zagarola
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

James J. Barry
Small Business Information at Submission:

P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH 03755

EIN/Tax ID: 020259551
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No