This PDF file contains the front matter associated with SPIE Proceedings Volume 10180, including the Title Page, Copyright information, Table of Contents, Introduction (if any), and Conference Committee listing.
The optimum small satellite (SmallSat) cryocooler system must be extremely compact and lightweight, achieved in this paper by operating a linear cryocooler at a frequency of approximately 300 Hz. Operation at this frequency, which is well in excess of the 100-150 Hz reported in recent papers on related efforts, requires an evolution beyond the traditional Oxford-class, flexure-based methods of setting the mechanical resonance. A novel approach that optimizes the electromagnetic design and the mechanical design together to simultaneously achieve the required dynamic and thermodynamic performances is described. Since highly miniaturized pulse tube coolers are fundamentally ill-suited for the sub-80K temperature range of interest because the boundary layer losses inside the pulse tube become dominant at the associated very small pulse tube size, a moving displacer Stirling cryocooler architecture is used. Compact compressor mechanisms developed on a previous program are reused for this design, and they have been adapted to yield an extremely compact Stirling warm end motor mechanism. Supporting thermodynamic and electromagnetic analysis results are reported.
In this paper, we describe a hihg0 frequency pulse tube cryocooler used in a superspectral imager to be launched in 2020. The superspectral imager is a field-dividing optical imaging system and uses 14 sets of integrated IR detector cryocooler dewar assembly. For the requirements of less heat loss an smaller size, each set is highly integrated by directly mounting the IR dectector's sapphire substrate on the pulse tube's cold tip, and welding the dewar's housing to the flange of the cold finger. Driven by a pair of moving magnet linear motors, the dual-opposed piston compressor of the croycooler is running at 120Hz. Filled with customized stainless screens in the regenerator, the cryolooler reaches 8.1% carnot efficiency at the cooling power of 1W@80K with 34Wac input power.
Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center, part of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, has developed a series of long life microcryocoolers for avionics and space sensor applications. We report the development and testing of three varieties of single-stage, compact, coaxial, pulse tube microcryocoolers. These coolers support emerging large, high operating temperature (100-150K) infrared focal plane array sensors with nominal cooling loads of 200-2000 mW, and all share long life technology attributes used in space cryocoolers, which typically provide 10 years of continuous operation on orbit without degradation. These three models of microcryocooler are the 345 gram Micro1-1, designed to provide 1 W cooling at 150 K, the 450 gram Micro1-2, designed to provide 2 W cooling at 105 K, and the 320 gram Micro1-3, designed to provide 300 mW cooling at 125 K while providing the capability to cool the IR focal plane to 125 K in less than 3 minutes. The Micro1-3 was also designed with a highly compact package that reduced the coldhead length to 55 mm, a length reduction of more than a factor of two compared with the other coldheads. This paper also describes recent design studies of 2-stage microcryocoolers capable of providing cooling at 25-100K. LMSSC is an industry leader in multiple-stage coolers, having successfully built and tested eight 2-stage coolers (typically cooling to 35-55K), and four coolers with 3 or 4 stages (for cooling to 4-10K). The 2-stage microcryocooler offers a very low mass and compact package capable of cooling HgCdTe focal planes, while providing simultaneous optics cooling at a higher temperature.
The modern needs of the electro-optical market for small low-power and light-weight IR systems are impelling research and development of High Operating Temperature (HOT) IR detectors, requiring development of dedicated “HOT” cryocoolers. The development of cryocoolers with emphasis on the “SWAP3” configuration means small size, low weight, improved performance, low power consumption and low price, in order to optimize IDDCA for future hand held thermal sights. This paper will present the development and the progress made with the new "HOT" cryocooler, including customer data after the evaluation process, performances achieved using a common cold finger, test results update on a large series of production coolers, life and qualification test update and acoustic noise reduction. All the above mentioned information relates to the FPA temperature range of 130 - 200K for various cryocooler models based on rotary and linear design concepts. The paper will also review the progress with the latest development activities implemented in the cryocoolers and the electronic control modules in order to improve reliability and minimize regulated power consumption.
Joule Thomson (JT) Cryocooler is a well-known technology which is widely used in research and industry. The cooling effect is achieved by isenthalpic expansion of the cooling gas in an orifice. A JT cooler has two basic components: a counter flow heat exchanger and an orifice. Due to the fact that the cooler has no moving parts and contains relatively simple components it is a great candidate for miniaturization, and realization with the new additive manufacturing technologies. In the current work we discuss the implementation of 3D ceramic printing as a possible fabrication technology for a JT cooler intended for cooling IR detectors operated at temperature of about 150K. In this paper we present a comprehensive analysis including coolant considerations, heat transfer calculations and realization of the cooler.
The trend for miniaturized Integrated Dewar and Cooler Assemblies (IDCA) has been confirmed over the past few years with several mentions of a new generation of IR detector working at High Operating Temperature (HOT). This key technology enables the use of cryocooler with reduced needs of cryogenics power. As a consequence, miniaturized IDCA are the combination of a HOT IR detector coupled with a low-size, low-weight and low-power (SWaP) cryocooler. Thales Cryogenics has developed his own line of SWaP products. Qualification results on linear solution where shown last year. The current paper focuses on the latest results obtained on RMs1 prototypes, the new rotary SWaP cryocooler from Thales Cryogenics. Cryogenic performances and induced vibrations are presented. In a second part, progress is discussed on compactness and weight on one side, and on power consumption on the other side. It shows how the trade-off made between weight and power consumption could lead to an optimized solution at system level. At least, an update is made on the qualification status.
The high quality Yb-doped fluoride crystals have broad prospects for optical refrigeration. We have laser cooled the Yb:LuLiF crystal to a temperature below the limit of current thermoelectric coolers (~180 K). The 5% Yb:LuLiF crystal sample has a geometry of 2 mm×2 mm×5 mm and was supported by two fibers of 200 μm in diameter. They were placed in a ~2×10-4 Pa vacuum chamber with an environment temperature of ~294.5 K. The 1019 nm CW laser of power 38.7 W was adopted to irradiate the sample. The temperature of the sample was measured utilizing the DLT methods. After 20 minutes of laser irradiation, the 5% Yb:LuLiF crystal sample was cooled down to ~182.4 K. By further optimizing experimental conditions and increasing the doped Yb concentration, the Yb:LuLiF crystal might be optically cooled below the cryogenic temperature of 123K in the near future.
In recent years, several space cryocooler developments have been performed in parallel at Thales Cryogenics. On one end of the spectrum are research programmes such as the ESA-funded 30-50 K system developed in cooperation with CEA and Absolut System and the LPT6510 cooler developed in cooperation with Absolut System. On the other end of the spectrum are commercial designs adapted for space applications, such as the LPT9310 commercial coolers delivered for JPL’s ECOSTRESS instrument and the LSF9199/30 SADA-compatible cooler delivered for various space programmes at Sofradir. In this paper, an overview is presented of the latest developments regarding these coolers. Initial performance results of the 30-50K cooler are discussed, pending developments for the LPT6510 cooler are presented, and the synergies between COTS and space are reviewed, such as design principles from space coolers being applied to an upgraded variant of the COTS LPT9310, as well as design principles from COTS coolers being applied to the LPT6510 for improved manufacturability.
Ricor cryogenics was founded in 1967 and since then it has focused on innovative technologies in the cryogenic field. The paper reviews the initial research and development efforts invested in various technologies that have yielded products such as Cryostats for Mossbauer Effect measurement, Liquid gas Dewar containers, Liquid helium vacuum transfer tubes, Cryosurgery and other innovative products. The major registered patents that matured to products such as a magnetic vacuum valve operator, pumped out safety valve and other innovations are reviewed here. As a result of continuous R and D investment, over the years a new generation of innovative Stirling cryogenic products has developed. This development began with massive split slip-on coolers and has progressed as far as miniature IDDCA coolers mainly for IR applications. The accumulated experience in Stirling technology is used also as a platform for developing self-contained water vapor pumps known as MicroStar and NanoStar. These products are also used in collaboration with a research institute in the field of High Temperature Superconductors. The continuous growth in the cryogenic products range and the need to meet market demands have motivated the expansion, of Ricor's manufacturing facility enabling it to become a world leader in the cryocooler field. To date Ricor has manufactured more than 120,000 cryocoolers. The actual cryogenic development efforts and challenges are also reviewed, mainly in the field of long life cryocoolers, ruggedized products, miniaturization and products for space applications.
The K527 linear cooler was developed in order to meet the requirements of reliability, cooling power needs and versatility for a wide range of applications such as hand held, 24/7 and MWS. During the recent years the cooler was incorporated in variety of systems. Some of these systems can be sensitive to vibrations which are induced from the cooler. In order to reduce those vibrations significantly, a Tuned Dynamic Absorber (TDA) was added to the cooler. Other systems, such as the MWS type, are not sensitive to vibrations, but require a robust cooler in order to meet the high demand for environmental vibration and temperature. Therefore various mounting interfaces are designed to meet system requirements. The latest K527 version was designed to be integrated with the K508 cold finger, in order to give it versatility to standard detectors that are already designed and available for the K508 cooler type. The reliability of the cooler is of a high priority. In order to meet the 30,000 working hours target, special design features were implemented. Eight K527 coolers have passed the 19,360 working hours without degradations, and are still running according to our expectations.
To enhance the optical recognition and wavelength filtering of an infrared cold optical system, some lens need to be maintained within a certain temperature range, which requires specific thermal management of the aperture. A 250K liquid cooling circuit designed for this purpose is introduced, and the experimental results established and operated in a vacuum environmental simulation chamber is carried out and analyzed. A practical cooling power source of radiation cooling equipment is adopted and the sun exposure heat load is imitated by array of planar membrane heaters attached on the specific designed structure of the aperture. Controlling the aperture temperature and improving the optical system performance are proved effective. Numerical optimization of the cooling circuit and simulation of the aperture are performed , and the factors affect the optical system performance in the mean time are also investigated.
The cooled IR detectors are used in a wide range of applications. Most of the time, the cryocoolers are one of the components dimensioning the lifetime of the system. Indeed, Stirling coolers are mechanical systems where wear occurs on millimetric mechanisms. The exponential law classically used in electronics for Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) calculation cannot be directly used for mechanical devices. With new applications for thermal sensor like border surveillance, an increasing reliability has become mandatory for rotary cooler. The current needs are above several tens of thousands of continuous hour of cooling. Thales Cryogenics made specific development on that topic, for both linear and rotary applications. The time needed for validating changes in processes through suited experimental design is hardly affordable by following a robust and rigorous standard scientific approach. The targeted Mean Time to Failure (MTTF) led us to adopt an innovative approach to keep development phases in line with expected time to market. This innovative approach is today widespread on all of Thales Cryogenics rotary products and results in a proven increase of MTTF for RM2, RM3 and recently RM1. This paper will then focused on the current MTTF figures measured on RM1, RM2 and RM3. After explaining the limit of a conventional approach, the paper will then describe the current method. At last, the authors will explain how these principles are taken into account for the new SWaP rotary cooler of Thales Cryogénie SAS.
Ricor Systems has developed a compact, single stage cryopump that fills the gap where GM and other type cryopumps can't fit in. Stirling cycle technology is highly efficient and is the primary cryogenic technology for use in IR, SWIR, HOT FPA, and other IR detector technology in military, security, and aerospace applications. Current GM based dual stage cryopumps have been the legacy type water vapor pumping system for more than 50 years. However, the typically large cryopanel head, compressor footprint, and power requirements make them not cost and use effective for small, tabletop evaporation / sputtering systems, portable analysis systems, and other systems requiring small volume vacuum creation from medium, high, and UHV levels. This single stage cryopump works well in-line with diffusion and molecular turbopumps. Studies have shown effective cooperation with non-evaporable getter technology as well for UHV levels. Further testing in this area are ongoing. Temperatures created by Stirling cycle cryogenic coolers develop a useful temperature range of 40 to 150K. Temperatures of approximately 100 K are sufficient to condense water and all hydrocarbons oil vapors.
In this paper the SRI family of Le-tehnika rotary cryocoolers is presented (SRI401, SRI423/SRI421 and SRI474). The Stirling coolers cooling power range starts from 0.25W to 0.75W at 77K with available temperature range from 60K to 150K and are fitted to typical dewar detector sizes and powers supply voltages. The DDCA performance optimizing procedure is presented. The procedure includes cooler steady state performance mapping and optimization and cooldown optimization. The current cryogenic performance status and reliability evaluation method and figures are presented on the existing and new units. The latest improved SRI401 demonstrated MTTF close to 25’000 hours and the test is still on going.
Modern infrared imagers often rely on split Stirling linear cryocoolers comprising compressor and expander, the relative position of which is governed by the optical design and packaging constraints. A force couple generated by imbalanced reciprocation of moving components inside both compressor and expander result in cryocooler induced vibration comprising angular and translational tonal components manifesting itself in the form of line of sight jitter and dynamic defocusing. Since linear cryocooler is usually driven at a fixed and precisely adjustable frequency, a tuned dynamic absorber is a well suited tool for vibration control. It is traditionally made in the form of lightweight single degree of freedom undamped mechanical resonator, the frequency of which is essentially matched with the driving frequency or vice versa. Unfortunately, the performance of such a traditional approach is limited in terms of simultaneous attenuating translational and angular components of cooler induced vibration. The authors are enhancing the traditional concept and consider multimodal tuned dynamic absorber made in the form of weakly damped mechanical resonator, where the frequencies of useful dynamic modes are essentially matched with the driving frequency. Dynamic analysis and experimental testing show that the dynamic reactions (forces and moments) produced by such a device may simultaneously attenuate both translational and angular components of cryocoolerinduced vibration. The authors are considering different embodiments and their suitability for different packaging concepts. The outcomes of theoretical predictions are supported by full scale experimentation.