Performance Enhancement for 4 K Pulse Tube Cryocoolers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-10-M-0246
Agency Tracking Number: N10A-026-0151
Amount: $99,828.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: N10A-T026
Solicitation Number: 2010.A
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, 03755
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Weibo Chen
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 643-3800
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: President
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Research Institution
 University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Cheryl E Gest
 Research and Sponsored Program
21 N. Park St., Suite 6401
Madison, WI, 53715
 (608) 262-4880
 Nonprofit college or university
Future military communication systems will utilize advanced superconductor digital electronics that will require efficient cooling at low temperatures near 4 K. We propose to improve the efficiency of pulse-tube cryocoolers by addressing the two primary performance limitations. These are operation in adverse orientations and performance of the regenerator at low temperatures. We will develop (1) a CFD model to quantify the losses associated with gravity-induced flow; and (2) an advanced regenerator that uses an innovative non-rare-earth material to achieve a very high volumetric specific heat and a novel configuration for high thermal and fluid performance. The regenerator’s large heat capacity, small void volume and low flow restriction will substantially improve the thermal efficiency of low temperature pulse-tube cryocoolers. The regenerator significantly increases a cryocooler’s net cooling and thus minimizes the impact of parasitic losses in a pulse tube at an adverse gravity orientation. In Phase I, we will analyze the performance of a pulse tube cooler at different gravity orientations, optimize the regenerator design, and identify a fabrication approach for the regenerator.

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

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