From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
We report the development and initial testing of the Lockheed Martin first-article, single-stage, compact, coaxial, Fast Cooldown Pulse Tube Microcryocooler (FC-PTM). The new cryocooler supports cooling requirements for emerging large, high operating temperature (105-150K) infrared focal plane array sensors with nominal cooling loads of ~300 mW @105K @293K ambient. This is a sequel development that builds on our inline and coaxial pulse tube microcryocoolers reported at CEC 20137, ICC188,9, and CEC201510. The new FC-PTM and the prior units all share our long life space technology attributes, which typically have 10 year life requirements1. The new prototype microcryocooler builds on the previous development by incorporating cold head design improvements in two key areas: 1) reduced cool-down time and 2) novel repackaging that greatly reduces envelope. The new coldhead and Dewar were significantly redesigned from the earlier versions in order to achieve a cooldown time of 2-3 minutes-- a projected requirement for tactical applications. A design approach was devised to reduce the cold head length from 115mm to 55mm, while at the same time reducing cooldown time. We present new FC-PTM performance test measurements with comparisons to our previous pulse-tube microcryocooler measurements and design predictions. The FC-PTM exhibits attractive small size, volume, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) features with sufficient cooling capacity over required ambient conditions that apply to an increasing variety of space and tactical applications.
T. Nast, J. R. Olson, P. Champagne, E. Roth, G. Kaldas, E. Saito, V. Loung, B. S. McCay, A. C. Kenton, and C. L. Dobbins, "Fast cool-down coaxial pulse tube microcooler," Proc. SPIE 9978, CubeSats and NanoSats for Remote Sensing, 99780L (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 31, 2016; Published: 19 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238285.
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