A 10-20 K Cryocooler for Cooling Electro-Optical Payloads
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Advanced space-borne infrared detectors require cooling at temperatures of 10 to 20 K. Cooling loads for these detectors will range from 0.25 W to 1.0 W at the primary load site, with additional loads at higher temperatures. A multistage cooler, capable of cooling multiple loads, will offer large potential gains in system efficiency and weight. Turbomachine-based Brayton cryocoolers are ideal candidates for these missions because they are highly efficient, lightweight, vibration-free, adaptable to multiple stages, and have long maintenance-free lifetimes. State-of-the-art technology exists or is under development for all primary cryocooler components. During this program, we propose to build and test a two-stage 10 to 20 K cryocooler that demonstrates the performance benefits of the technology. During the Phase I project, we plan to obtain key operational and performance data for one of the primary cryocooler components. During the Phase II project, we plan to configure and test the cryocooler at cold load temperatures as low as 10 K. BENEFIT: The successful completion of this program will result in the demonstration of a two-stage turbo-Brayton cryocooler at 10 K. This type of cryocooler is ideal for cooling applications in space-based surveillance and missile-defense systems. Government-funded scientific applications include space-based infrared telescopes. Commercial applications include communication satellites, superconducting instruments, hypercomputers, and Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs).
Small Business Information at Submission:
Jeffrey J. Breedlove
P.O. Box 71 Hanover, NH 03755
Number of Employees: