Experimental Demonstration of an Improved Cryocooler Configuration to Lower the Gimbaled Mass and Volume for Infrared Sensors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-08-C-7844
Agency Tracking Number: B073-004-0263
Amount: $99,942.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA07-004
Solicitation Number: 2007.3
Small Business Information
200 Yellow Place, Pines Industrial Center, Rockledge, FL, 32955
DUNS: 175302579
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert P Scaringe
 PI/Sr. Research Engineer
 (321) 631-3550
Business Contact
 Michael Rizzo
Title: Controller
Phone: (321) 631-3550
Email: mar@mainstream-engr.com
Research Institution
The objective of this effort is to reduce the weight of the cryocooler system, improve the efficiency of the cryocooler system, provide multiple cryocooler temperatures, and improve the configuration of the gimbaled flexible joint. At first glance, this set of claims seems incredibly ambitious; however, as disclosed in this proposal, these achievements can be obtained by implementing an improved cryogenic cooler. The proposed configuration can also provide multiple cooling temperatures, allowing both the cryogenic cooling and the electronics thermal control from a single cooler. This Phase I effort includes the experimental demonstration of this cryocooler (in a bench-top configuration), as well as a demonstration of an improved gimbaled flexible joint. Phase I also includes a comparison with current state-of-the-art technology to verify mass, reliability, and energy benefits. Clearly, Mainstream has the prior experience in this area, and the effort proposed in Phase I, which includes a preliminary design and bench-top demonstration experiments, exceeds the scope of effort proposed in the Phase I solicitation; however, Mainstream is well into this research and excited about the commercial potential for this technology. Phase II will address the fabrication and demonstration of a complete system.

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

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