Thales Cryogenics has presented the LSF 9599 SADA II flexure cooler in 2005. Based on Thales' well-known moving magnet flexure technology, the LSF 9599 complies with the SADA II specification with respect to performance, envelope and mass. Being the first manufacturer offering a full flexure-bearing supported cooler that fits within the SADA II envelope, Thales Cryogenics has been selected in several new (military) programs with their LSF coolers. For many of these new programs, the cooldown time requirements are more stringent than in the past, whereas at the same time size, complexity and thus thermal mass of the infrared sensor tends to increase. In order to respond to the need created by the combination of these trends, Thales Cryogenics started a development program to optimize cryogenic performance of the LSF 9599 cooler. The main goal for the development program is to reduce the cooldown time, while maintaining the SADA II compatible interface, and maintaining the robustness and proven reliability of the cooler.
Within these constraints, the regenerator was further optimized using among others the experience with mixed-gauze regenerators obtained from our pulse tube research. Using the mixed gauze approach, the heat storage capacity of the regenerator is adapted as a function of the temperature profile over the regenerator, thus giving the optimum balance between heat storage capacity and pressure drop. A novel way of constructing the regenerator further decreases shuttle heat losses and other thermal losses in the regenerator.
This paper describes the first results of the trade-offs and gives an overview of impact on cooldown times and efficiency figures achieved after the regenerator and displacer optimization.