Low Temperature Cryocooler

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NAS2-02051
Agency Tracking Number: 001179
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
5445 Conestoga Court, #2A, Boulder, CO, 80301
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Scott Willen
 Chief Engineer
 (303) 443-2262
 Scott Willen
Business Contact
 Robert Mohling
Title: President/General Manager
Phone: (303) 443-2262
Email: ffusilier@techapps.com
Research Institution
Technology Applications, Inc. is proposing to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of a low-temperature cryocooler (LTCC) that is reliable, has high efficiency and low vibration, is lightweight and compact, and has variable load capability. This system uses a Stirling or pulse tube cryocooler operating at 70 K as a precooler and an expansion-engine-based cold stage. Operating temperatures below 6 K can easily be achieved with Carnot efficiencies greater than 5%. The extraordinary high efficiency is due to the incorporation of a unique expansion engine design that is enabled through application of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. The development of the MEMS expander assembly and its integrated electronics will revolutionize low-temperature cooling. It greatly increases Carnot efficiency, reducing input power, lowering cost, and providing consistency of performance. Using MEMS fabrication techniques, the LTCC can be made in large quantities with low production costs resulting from the economy-of-scale seen in the integrated circuit industry. Development of this technology will provide an extraordinarily high payoff for future NASA Space and Earth Science Enterprises. The Phase I study will demonstrate feasibility of the LTCC through detailed analyses and identification of the MEMS fabrication processes. During Phase II, a prototype LTCC will be fabricated and tested.

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

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