14 May 2007 Portable cryogenically cooled infrared imager: how silent it might be?
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For the sake of weight and compactness, the enclosures of the modern portable cryogenically cooled infrared (IR) imagers are made in the form of a light metal (aluminium, magnesium, titanium) thin-walled shell, serving as an optical bench, accommodating a telescope, an optical train and an Infrared Detector Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDDCA). Such IDDCAs normally rely on miniature rotary Stirling cryogenic coolers, which are known as powerful sources of wideband vibration giving rise to the inherently lightly damped structural resonances in the imager enclosure thus causing loud structure-borne noise. This may lead to an increased range for aural detectability of forward observers who must remain undetected, potentially for long periods of time. Consequently, the aural nondetectability distance becomes one of the crucial figures of merit (along with the overall weight, battery life, imagery quality, etc) characterising the modern portable IR imager. In the novel approach, the IDDCA is mounted within the enclosure using a special silencing pad; effectively attenuating vibration export over the typical high frequency range that contains the relevant structural resonances of the enclosure. The residual noise radiation from the imager enclosure is then attenuated practically to a background level by reshaping the radiation modes thus cancelling the overall volume velocity. This is achieved by finding the "critical point" and affixing there the optimally sized correction mass. The authors report on a successful attempt to develop a cooled imager that is inaudible at greater than 10 meters (even during the cool down phase) per MIL-STD-1774D (Level II).
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Alexander Veprik, Alexander Veprik, Herman Vilenchik, Herman Vilenchik, Ramon Broyde, Ramon Broyde, Nachman Pundak, Nachman Pundak, Andrew Struckhoff, Andrew Struckhoff, } "Portable cryogenically cooled infrared imager: how silent it might be?", Proc. SPIE 6542, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIII, 65422P (14 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.719280; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.719280

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