Regenerators for Liquid Hydrogen Cryocoolers

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CE59P
Agency Tracking Number: 084711
Amount: $99,919.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: X7.01
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
Future NASA exloration, planetary and astrophysics missions will require various enhancements in multi-stage cryocoolers. These include increased efficiency, reduced vibration and reductions in overall system mass and power consumption. For the small coolers required, pulse tube and Stirling coolers offer the best opportunities. At present, the efficiency of these coolers is limited by the effectiveness of low-temperature-stage regenerators. Below about 60 K, two factors play key roles in reducing the effectiveness of regenerators. One is that the heat capacity of most materials falls rapidly with decreasing temperature, thereby, severely limiting the number of useful materials to a few in common use. A second factor is that these commonly used materials are only available in powder form, a form known to raise reliability issues. In this effort, we will address both factors. We will use newly developed materials with high heat capacities at temperatures below 80 K, higher than that of commonly used materials. Further, we will develop novel low-temperature regenerator matrix configurations that will address both the aspect of high-efficiency and regenerator durability. Both the void fracton and the ratio of surface area to solid fracton of the regenerator matrix will be varied to achieve high efficiency.

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

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