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Performance Enhancement for 4 K Pulse Tube Cryocoolers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-M-0246
Agency Tracking Number: N10A-026-0151
Amount: $99,828.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N10A-T026
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Solicitation Year: 2010
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-06-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2011-07-20
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Weibo Chen
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 643-3800
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: President
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Research Institution
 University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Cheryl E Gest
Research and Sponsored Program 21 N. Park St., Suite 6401
Madison, WI 53715
United States

 (608) 262-4880
 Nonprofit College or University

Future military communication systems will utilize advanced superconductor digital electronics that will require efficient cooling at low temperatures near 4 K. We propose to improve the efficiency of pulse-tube cryocoolers by addressing the two primary performance limitations. These are operation in adverse orientations and performance of the regenerator at low temperatures. We will develop (1) a CFD model to quantify the losses associated with gravity-induced flow; and (2) an advanced regenerator that uses an innovative non-rare-earth material to achieve a very high volumetric specific heat and a novel configuration for high thermal and fluid performance. The regenerator’s large heat capacity, small void volume and low flow restriction will substantially improve the thermal efficiency of low temperature pulse-tube cryocoolers. The regenerator significantly increases a cryocooler’s net cooling and thus minimizes the impact of parasitic losses in a pulse tube at an adverse gravity orientation. In Phase I, we will analyze the performance of a pulse tube cooler at different gravity orientations, optimize the regenerator design, and identify a fabrication approach for the regenerator.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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