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

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNG04CA69C
Agency Tracking Number: 033341
Amount: $69,972.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: S2.04
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1367 Camino Robles Way, San Jose, CA, 95120-4925
DUNS: 938515913
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 James Maddocks
 Principal Investigator
 (608) 265-4246
Business Contact
 Ali Kashani
Title: Business Official
Phone: (408) 507-0906
Research Institution
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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