MEMS Flow Controller for Cryocoolers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: FA9453-04-C-0020
Agency Tracking Number: 022-0108
Amount: $750,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2002
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA02-031
Solicitation Number: 2002.2
Small Business Information
5445 Conestoga Court #2A, Boulder, CO, 80301
DUNS: 933677452
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Steve Nieczkoski
 Senior Engineer
 (303) 443-2262
Business Contact
 Fred Fusilier
Title: Business Manager
Phone: (303) 443-2262
Research Institution
There is a strong interest in pulse tube cryocoolers for strategic and tactical applications. The pulse tube cryocooler derives its thermodynamic performance from a controlled movement of a gas volume within a tube resulting in extraction of heat from a definable cold interface. Performance of pulse tube cryocoolers is strongly dependent upon accurate control of the gas flow to achieve a matching of the moving gas volume with the tube volume and effective phasing of the gas volume motion relative to driving pressure waveforms. TAI will incorporate a MEMS-based valve array to accurately and remotely control the gas flow. A major benefit of this controllable micro-miniature flow manifold is dynamic flow management with minimal addition of parasitic void volume to provide enhanced cryocooler performance. The proposed approach to package multiple electrostatic flow control valves in a configuration that satisfies the cryocooler application requirements was developed in Phase I and study results revealed that significant gains in pulse tube cryocooler performance can be realized. In Phase II, a prototype flow control device will be fabricated and integrated with a dedicated pulse tube cryocooler test bed to demonstrate the proposed embodiment.

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

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