17 May 2016 Reliability improvements on Thales RM2 rotary Stirling coolers: analysis and methodology
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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. The cooler reliability is thus one of its most important parameters. This parameter has to increase to answer market needs. To do this, the data for identifying the weakest element determining cooler reliability has to be collected. Yet, data collection based on field are hardly usable due to lack of informations. A method for identifying the improvement in reliability has then to be set up which can be used even without field return. This paper will describe the method followed by Thales Cryogénie SAS to reach such a result. First, a database was built from extensive expertizes of RM2 failures occurring in accelerate ageing. Failure modes have then been identified and corrective actions achieved. Besides this, a hierarchical organization of the functions of the cooler has been done with regard to the potential increase of its efficiency. Specific changes have been introduced on the functions most likely to impact efficiency. The link between efficiency and reliability will be described in this paper. The work on the two axes – weak spots for cooler reliability and efficiency – permitted us to increase in a drastic way the MTTF of the RM2 cooler. Huge improvements in RM2 reliability are actually proven by both field return and reliability monitoring. These figures will be discussed in the paper.
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J. M. Cauquil, J. M. Cauquil, C. Seguineau, C. Seguineau, J.-Y. Martin, J.-Y. Martin, T. Benschop, T. Benschop, "Reliability improvements on Thales RM2 rotary Stirling coolers: analysis and methodology", Proc. SPIE 9821, Tri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR), 98210R (17 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2241206; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2241206

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