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Regenerative Rapid Optical Component Cooling

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1995 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Rocky Research
1598 Foothill Dr PO Box 61800 Boulder City, NV -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 1995
Title: Regenerative Rapid Optical Component Cooling
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $59,850.00


Proposed is the development of a two-stage cooling system to meet the rapid cool down requirements of optical sensor components. The proposed device will integrate a regenerative complex-compound cooling engine to cool the load to approximately -60¿C, at which point a blowdown system will complete the cooling mission to -100 to -120¿C. At the present time, an open cycle refrigerant blowdown system is one of the preferred methods. This works well on single mission vehicles such as missiles, but on space stations, satellites and ground based applications that have a longer life cycle requiring several missions, a regenerative system is desirable to minimize the amount of refrigerant storage. Like the blowdown method, the proposed two-stage system provides rapid cool down from storage conditions to battle readiness, which mechanical cryocoolers and Joule-Thompson open-cycle refrigerators cannot. The focus of this proposal is the evaluation of the two-stage approach and the design and construction of a proof-of-concept complex-compound engine for the regenerative first stage. Complex compound cooling engines are reliable and lightweight, with no moving parts except for check valves. The rapid-cooling regenerative engine will be perfectly suited for two niche cooling applications. Connected to a small freezer compartment, it will provide a small blast freezer or "quick freeze" appliance and the thermal storage capability provides non powered cooling capacity at a later time and location instantaneously. Significant cost sharing of Phase II would be likely if Phase I is successful.

Principal Investigator:

Lance Kirol

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Rocky Research
P.o. Box 61800 Boulder City, NV 89006

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No