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MEMS Flow Controller for Cryocoolers

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Technology Applications, Inc.
5710A Flatiron Parkway Boulder, CO 80301
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: MEMS Flow Controller for Cryocoolers
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: FA9453-04-C-0020
Award Amount: $750,000.00


There is a strong interest in pulse tube cryocoolers for strategic and tactical applications. The pulse tube cryocooler derives its thermodynamic performance from a controlled movement of a gas volume within a tube resulting in extraction of heat from a definable cold interface. Performance of pulse tube cryocoolers is strongly dependent upon accurate control of the gas flow to achieve a matching of the moving gas volume with the tube volume and effective phasing of the gas volume motion relative to driving pressure waveforms. TAI will incorporate a MEMS-based valve array to accurately and remotely control the gas flow. A major benefit of this controllable micro-miniature flow manifold is dynamic flow management with minimal addition of parasitic void volume to provide enhanced cryocooler performance. The proposed approach to package multiple electrostatic flow control valves in a configuration that satisfies the cryocooler application requirements was developed in Phase I and study results revealed that significant gains in pulse tube cryocooler performance can be realized. In Phase II, a prototype flow control device will be fabricated and integrated with a dedicated pulse tube cryocooler test bed to demonstrate the proposed embodiment.

Principal Investigator:

Steve Nieczkoski
Senior Engineer

Business Contact:

Fred Fusilier
Business Manager
Small Business Information at Submission:

5445 Conestoga Court #2A Boulder, CO 80301

EIN/Tax ID: 841268449
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No