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Proceedings Paper

Detector cooling options for temperatures as low as 10 mK
Author(s): Peter J. Shirron
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Paper Abstract

Upcoming far-IR space missions are faced with a very challenging requirement: to make detectors with sufficient sensitivity to be limited by the photon noise present in the darkness of space. At long wavelengths (>100μm), where the Zodiacal light is insignificant and the sky brightness corresponds to only ~100 aW, detectors must have noise equivalent powers of <10-19 W/√Hz. For fundamental reasons, this can only be achieved with detectors operating at about 20 mK, giving rise to the need for refrigerators capable of operating as low as 10 mK. Only adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators (ADR) have demonstrated both zero-g operation and the capacity for cooling into this regime. Over the last few years we have developed a multi-stage ADR that can produce continuous cooling at temperatures of 35 mK or lower, and have recently begun developing additional stages that will push the operating range below 10 mK. Our prototype device uses a 4.2 K heat sink, but it can easily work with pulse-tube or Gifford-McMahon cryocoolers. We describe the design, operation and capabilities of the ADR, as well as the cryogen-free dewar that will be used for performance tests.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5904, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments XI, 59040W (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.615276
Show Author Affiliations
Peter J. Shirron, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5904:
Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments XI
James B. Heaney; Lawrence G. Burriesci, Editor(s)

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