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Proceedings Paper

Development of a miniature Stirling cryocooler for LWIR small satellite applications
Author(s): C. S. Kirkconnell; R. C. Hon; M. D. Perella; T. M. Crittenden; S. M. Ghiaasiaan
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Paper Abstract

The optimum small satellite (SmallSat) cryocooler system must be extremely compact and lightweight, achieved in this paper by operating a linear cryocooler at a frequency of approximately 300 Hz. Operation at this frequency, which is well in excess of the 100-150 Hz reported in recent papers on related efforts, requires an evolution beyond the traditional Oxford-class, flexure-based methods of setting the mechanical resonance. A novel approach that optimizes the electromagnetic design and the mechanical design together to simultaneously achieve the required dynamic and thermodynamic performances is described. Since highly miniaturized pulse tube coolers are fundamentally ill-suited for the sub-80K temperature range of interest because the boundary layer losses inside the pulse tube become dominant at the associated very small pulse tube size, a moving displacer Stirling cryocooler architecture is used. Compact compressor mechanisms developed on a previous program are reused for this design, and they have been adapted to yield an extremely compact Stirling warm end motor mechanism. Supporting thermodynamic and electromagnetic analysis results are reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 May 2017
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 10180, Tri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR) II, 1018002 (5 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2259803
Show Author Affiliations
C. S. Kirkconnell, West Coast Solutions (United States)
R. C. Hon, West Coast Solutions (United States)
M. D. Perella, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)
T. M. Crittenden, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)
S. M. Ghiaasiaan, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10180:
Tri-Technology Device Refrigeration (TTDR) II
Richard I. Epstein; Bjørn F. Andresen; Tonny Benschop; Joseph P. Heremans; Sergey V. Riabzev; Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, Editor(s)

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