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Proceedings Paper

Turbo-Brayton cryocooler technology for low-temperature space applications
Author(s): Mark V. Zagarola; Jeffrey F. Breedlove; John A. McCormick; Walter L. Swift
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Paper Abstract

High performance, low temperature cryocoolers are being developed for future space-borne telescopes and instruments. To meet mission objectives, these coolers must be compact, lightweight, have low input power, operate reliably for 5-10 years, and produce no disturbances that would affect the pointing accuracy of the instruments. This paper describes progress in the development of turbo-Brayton cryocoolers addressing cooling in the 5 K to 20 K temperature range for loads of up to 300 mW. The key components for these cryocoolers are the miniature, high-speed turbomachines and the high performance recuperative heat exchangers. The turbomachines use gas-bearings to support the low mass, high speed rotors, resulting in negligible vibration and long life. Precision fabrication techniques are used to produce the necessary micro-scale geometric features that provide for high cycle efficiencies at these reduced sizes. Turbo-Brayton cryocoolers for higher temperatures and loads have been successfully developed for space applications. For efficient operation at low temperatures and capacities, advances in the core technologies have been pursued. Performance test results of a new, low poer compressor will be presented, and early cryogenic test results on a low temperature expansion turbine will be discussed. Projections for several low temperature cooler configurations are summarized.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4850, IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, (5 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461776
Show Author Affiliations
Mark V. Zagarola, Creare Inc. (United States)
Jeffrey F. Breedlove, Creare Inc. (United States)
John A. McCormick, Creare Inc. (United States)
Walter L. Swift, Creare Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4850:
IR Space Telescopes and Instruments
John C. Mather, Editor(s)

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