12 September 2007 High-fidelity cryothermal test of a subscale large space telescope
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To take advantage of the unique environment of space and optimize infrared observations for faint sources, space telescopes must be cooled to low temperatures. The new paradigm in cooling large space telescopes is to use a combination of passive radiative cooling and mechanical cryocoolers. The passive system must shield the telescope from the Sun, Earth, and the warm spacecraft components while providing radiative cooling to deep space. This shield system is larger than the telescope itself, and must attenuate the incoming energy by over one million to limit heat input to the telescope. Testing of such a system on the ground is a daunting task due to the size of the thermal/vacuum chamber required and the degree of thermal isolation necessary between the room temperature and cryogenic parts of the shield. These problems have been attacked in two ways: by designing a subscale version of a larger sunshield and by carefully closing out radiation sneak paths. The 18% scale (the largest diameter shield was 1.5 m) version of the SPIRIT Origins Probe telescope shield was tested in a low cost helium shroud within a 3.1 m diameter x 4.6 m long LN2 shrouded vacuum chamber. Thermal straps connected from three shield stages to the liquid helium cooled shroud were instrumented with heaters and thermometers to simulate mechanical cryocooler stages at 6 K, 18-20 K, and 45-51 K. Performance data showed that less than 10 microwatts of radiative heat leaked from the warm to cold sides of the shields during the test. The excellent agreement between the data and the thermal models is discussed along with shroud construction techniques.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. DiPirro, M. DiPirro, J. Tuttle, J. Tuttle, S. Ollendorf, S. Ollendorf, A. Mattern, A. Mattern, D. Leisawitz, D. Leisawitz, M. Jackson, M. Jackson, J. Francis, J. Francis, T. Hait, T. Hait, P. Cleveland, P. Cleveland, D. Muheim, D. Muheim, A. J. Mastropietro, A. J. Mastropietro, } "High-fidelity cryothermal test of a subscale large space telescope", Proc. SPIE 6692, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments XII, 669202 (12 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734203; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.734203


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