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Proceedings Paper

Millikelvin cryocooler for space- and ground-based detector systems
Author(s): J. Bartlett; G. Hardy; I. Hepburn; S. Milward; P. Coker; C. Theobald
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the design of a continuously operating millikelvin cryocooler (mKCC) and its origins. It takes heritage from the double adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator (dADR) which was built for the European Space Agency (ESA). The compact design is based on a tandem configuration continuous ADR which alternately cycles two dADRs. The mKCC is a single module (dimensions 355 x 56 x120 mm) which operates from a 4 K bath (liquid or cryocooler) and provides an interface to the user which is settable from < 100 mK to 4 K. Predicted maximum cooling power at 100 mK is 7μW. It will use only single crystal tungsten magnetoresistive heat switches (the first ADR cooler to do so) and the measured thermal performance of these heat switches is presented. The mKCC uses ten shielded 2 Tesla superconducting magnets capable of ramping to full field in 20 – 30 seconds. This has been demonstrated in the lab and the results are given for the successful performance of a prototype Chromium Potassium Alum (CPA) pill using one of these magnets. The mKCC has been designed to be fully automated and user friendly with the aim of expanding the use of millikelvin cryogenics and providing a good testing and operating platform for detector systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 8452, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 84521O (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926250
Show Author Affiliations
J. Bartlett, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
G. Hardy, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
I. Hepburn, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
S. Milward, Scientific Magnetics (United Kingdom)
P. Coker, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
C. Theobald, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8452:
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
Wayne S. Holland, Editor(s)

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