Rectified Continuous Flow Loop for Thermal Control of Distributed Loads
Small Business Information
1367 Camino Robles Way, San Jose, CA, 95120
AbstractFuture instruments and platforms for Missile Defense Agency space applications will require increasingly sophisticated thermal control technology, and cryogenic applications will become increasingly more common. While a number of cryogenic refrigeration systems may be considered for such applications, none offers the same potential for low vibration, reliability, and efficiency as the pulse tube. Regenerative coolers such as pulse tubes typically have small cold heads that must be conductively coupled to heat loads. Thermal integration via conductive coupling is not ideal for distributed loads such as those represented by large, deployable structures. To address this problem, we propose to develop a lightweight, continuous-flow cooling loop for cooling distributed loads. The cooling loop approach allows relatively simple mechanical and electrical integration and maintains high refrigeration system efficiency. The basis of the loop is a rectifying interface that converts the oscillating flow of a regenerative cryocooler into a steady flow of cold gas that can readily be distributed over distances of several meters. The rectifying interface has the potential secondary benefit of rapid and therefore precise load temperature regulation using an actively controlled throttle valve to regulate the gas flow.
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