18 July 2014 Extremely low-temperature properties of silicone compound used for thermal coupling in cryostat of SWIR/ASTER on TERRA
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The SWIR(Short Wave-length Infrared Radiometer) is one of the optical sensors in ASTER(Advanced Space-borne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer). ASTER is installed in the EOS(Earth Observing System) TERRA spacecraft of NASA. TERRA was launched on December18, 1999, and is employed still on the orbit for 14 years in January, 2014, The detector of SWIR is cooled at temperature 77K by cryocooler with the optimum sensitivity. SWIR had continued to take the numerous image data for more than five years of the mission period on orbit, and the cryocooler is still operating normally. However, a gradual rise in temperature of the detector has been seen after launch. Silicone compound have been used in order to achieve heat transfer between the detector and the cryocooler. On investigation, we have found that thermal conductivity of the silicone compound has been gradually reduced. We evaluated the low temperature properties (such as thermal conductivity, strength etc.) of the silicone compound. In addition, we analyzed the temperature conditions and the thermal stress values of cryostat in the orbit. As a result, the silicone compound solidified at low temperature shows a behavior similar to adhesive. Depending on the thermal stress generated at a low temperature, there is a possibility that destruction such as peeling occurs.
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Minoru Kobayashi, Minoru Kobayashi, Hiroshi Akao, Hiroshi Akao, Shigeki Akagi, Shigeki Akagi, Masakuni Kikuchi, Masakuni Kikuchi, Kenji Tatsumi, Kenji Tatsumi, Masakuni Kawada, Masakuni Kawada, "Extremely low-temperature properties of silicone compound used for thermal coupling in cryostat of SWIR/ASTER on TERRA", Proc. SPIE 9151, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, 915140 (18 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2064451; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2064451

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