Miniature Turbine for Pulse-Tube/Reverse-Brayton Hybrid Cryocooler

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$69,972.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNG04CA69C
Agency Tracking Number:
033341
Solicitation Year:
2003
Solicitation Topic Code:
S2.04
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Atlas Scientific
1367 Camino Robles Way, San Jose, CA, 95120-4925
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
938515913
Principal Investigator:
James Maddocks
Principal Investigator
(608) 265-4246
maddocks@cae.wisc.edu
Business Contact:
Ali Kashani
Business Official
(408) 507-0906
akashani@atlasscientific.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Many future advances in NASAys ability to perform cutting edge space science will require improvements in cryogenic system technology, including the development of light-weight, low vibration, highly-efficient, long-life cryocoolers. One such cooler, currently under development, is the pulse-tube/reverse-Brayton (PT/RB) hybrid cooler. Of critical importance to success of the PT/RB is the development of the small-scale turbine required for the reverse-Brayton stage. We propose to build such a turbine for inclusion in a brassboard PT/RB soon to be constructed under a separate contract. The turbine will incorporate pressurized bearings that generate a supporting force by applying a high-pressure source of gas to a flow restriction that exhausts into the bearing clearance and onto the turbine shaft surface. Pressurized bearings provide support even in the absence of shaft rotation and therefore eliminate rubbing contact and increase the life and reliability of the bearing. Also, because pressurized bearings do not directly depend on viscous action for operation, relatively larger clearances can be used without significantly sacrificing rotordynamic performance at low temperatures, thus making them cost effective.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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