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Proceedings Paper

The cryostat for the GRAVITY beam combiner instrument at the VLTI
Author(s): M. Haug; F. Haussmann; S. Kellner; R. Hofmann; J. Eder; F. Eisenhauer; J.-L. Lizon; G. Thummes; H. Weisz
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Paper Abstract

GRAVITY is a second generation VLTI instrument for high-precision narrow-angle astrometry and phase-referenced interferometric imaging in the astronomical K-band. The cryostat of the beam combiner instrument provides the required temperatures for the various subunits ranging from 40K to 290K with a milli-Kelvin temperature stability for some selected units. The bath cryostat is cooled with liquid nitrogen and makes use of the exhaust gas to cool the main optical bench to an intermediate temperature of 240K. The fringe tracking detector will be cooled separately by a single-stage pulse tube cooler to a temperature of 40K. The pulse tube cooler is optimized for minimum vibrations. In particular its warm side is connected to the 80K reservoir of the LN2 cryostat to minimize the required input power. All temperature levels are actively stabilized by electric heaters. The cold bench is supported separately from the vacuum vessel and the liquid nitrogen reservoir to minimize the transfer of acoustic noise onto the instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 September 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8445, Optical and Infrared Interferometry III, 84452V (12 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.925312
Show Author Affiliations
M. Haug, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
F. Haussmann, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
S. Kellner, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
R. Hofmann, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
J. Eder, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
F. Eisenhauer, Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik (Germany)
J.-L. Lizon, European Southern Obsevatory (Germany)
G. Thummes, TransMIT (Germany)
H. Weisz, WEISZ (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8445:
Optical and Infrared Interferometry III
Françoise Delplancke; Jayadev K. Rajagopal; Fabien Malbet, Editor(s)

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