The modern needs of the electro optical market for small low-power and light-weight IR systems are impelling development of High Operating Temperature (HOT) IR detectors, requiring development of dedicated cryocoolers. The development of cryocoolers focused on “SWAP-C” configuration means small size, low weight, low power consumption and attractive cost, in order to optimize IDDCA for modern compact thermal imagers. This paper will review the progress made with the new rotary K580 cryocooler for HOT detectors, update on qualification and life demonstration test results, present test results accumulated from production ramp-up and review the compliance with advanced HOT format arrays. The paper will also review planning for advanced Rotary version as further step of excellence with "SWAP-C" parameters.
The growing demand for EO applications that work around the clock 24hr/7days a week, such as in border surveillance systems, emphasizes the need for a highly reliable cryocooler having increased operational availability and optimized system's Integrated Logistic Support (ILS). In order to meet this need, RICOR developed linear and rotary cryocoolers which achieved successfully this goal. Cryocoolers MTTF was analyzed by theoretical reliability evaluation methods, demonstrated by normal and accelerated life tests at Cryocooler level and finally verified by field data analysis derived from Cryocoolers operating at system level. The following paper reviews theoretical reliability analysis methods together with analyzing reliability test results derived from standard and accelerated life demonstration tests performed at Ricor's advanced reliability laboratory. As a summary for the work process, reliability verification data will be presented as a feedback from fielded systems.
The K527 linear cooler was developed in order to meet the requirements of reliability, cooling power needs and versatility for a wide range of applications such as hand held, 24/7 and MWS. During the recent years the cooler was incorporated in variety of systems. Some of these systems can be sensitive to vibrations which are induced from the cooler. In order to reduce those vibrations significantly, a Tuned Dynamic Absorber (TDA) was added to the cooler. Other systems, such as the MWS type, are not sensitive to vibrations, but require a robust cooler in order to meet the high demand for environmental vibration and temperature. Therefore various mounting interfaces are designed to meet system requirements. The latest K527 version was designed to be integrated with the K508 cold finger, in order to give it versatility to standard detectors that are already designed and available for the K508 cooler type. The reliability of the cooler is of a high priority. In order to meet the 30,000 working hours target, special design features were implemented. Eight K527 coolers have passed the 19,360 working hours without degradations, and are still running according to our expectations.