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Proceedings Paper

Preliminary Cryogenic Performance Of The Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility
Author(s): H. L. Gier; Roy Stoll
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Paper Abstract

The Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) is a cryogenically cooled telescope in the one-meter aperture class designed for sensing in the infrared from 2-200μm. This facility is designed to be flown many times on the space shuttle with varying instrument complements. All components of the SIRTF within the field of view of the optics are cryogenically cooled. The primary coolant is supercritical helium which is stored in an external tank and routed through the telescope-cooling the instruments first, then the optical components and finally the baffles. For detector cooling below 6K small reservoirs of superfluid helium (Heil) are provided. The SIRTF cryogenic system is designed to automatically control the tank pressure and telescope flow rates during prelaunch operations and flight as well as meet the space shuttle environmental and safety requirements. Temperatures maintained in the telescope are a function of instrument operation, design, energy dissipation, and telescope pointing angle. By control of the cryogen flow rate any selected instrument temperature can be maintained within fixed limits, and the critical secondary mirror can be maintained below 10K throughout a 14-day mission. Instrument thermal design is a critical factor in the maintenance of proper temperature differences in the experiment package. Design of a cryogenic telescope for space use presents many problems which do not exist in earth based systems. The limited opportunity for servicing, the restricted coolant supply, and the remote instrumentation and control all provide new considerations for the instrument and system designers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 November 1980
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0245, Cryogenically Cooled Sensor Technology, (3 November 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.959335
Show Author Affiliations
H. L. Gier, Beech Aircraft Corporation (United States)
Roy Stoll, Perkin-Elmer Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0245:
Cryogenically Cooled Sensor Technology
Ronald J. Huppi, Editor(s)

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