The Origins Space Telescope (OST) will trace the history of our origins from the time dust and heavy elements permanently altered the cosmic landscape to present-day life. How did the universe evolve in response to its changing ingredients? How common are life-bearing planets? To accomplish its scientific objectives, OST will operate at mid- and far-infrared wavelengths and offer superlative sensitivity and new spectroscopic capabilities. The OST study team will present a scientifically compelling, executable mission concept to the 2020 Decadal Survey in Astrophysics. To understand the concept solution space, our team studied two alternative mission concepts. We report on the study approach and describe both of these concepts, give the rationale for major design decisions, and briefly describe the mission-enabling technology.
The Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (NGAS) has expanded the cryocooler product line to include a single stage High Efficiency Cryocooler (HEC) cooler with a coaxial pulse tube cold head that operates at temperatures down to 45K. The HEC coaxial pulse tube cooler has been adopted by several customers, and has completed acceptance testing to meet program flight requirements. The NGAS TRL 9 HEC is a pulse tube cryocooler with a flexure bearing compressor which has been delivered for a number of flight payloads that are currently operating in space. To date, NGAS has delivered space cryocoolers in several configurations including single stage with a linear cold head and two stage with both linear and coaxial cold heads. The new HEC coaxial cooler uses the same TRL9 HEC compressor with a passive pulse tube cold head, to maintain the flight heritage of the HEC linear cooler. In this paper, we present the flight acceptance test data of the HEC coaxial cryocooler, which includes thermal performance, launch vibration and thermal cycling. The HEC coaxial cooler has demonstrated excellent performance in family with the flight qualified HEC linear cooler. The HEC coaxial cooler provides users with additional flexibility in selecting the cold head configuration to meet their particular applications.