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Proceedings Paper

Long-Life Orbital Operation Of Stirling Cycle Mechanical Refrigerators
Author(s): L. G. Naes; T. C. Nast
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Paper Abstract

Four Stirling Cycle mechanical refrigerators are presently providing orbital cooling of two gamma-ray spectrometer instruments.' Each instrument uses two refrigerators that can be operated together or separately. The units have been operating since February 1979 without failure. Performance has degraded due to the gradual leakage of the helium working gas, necessitating operation of two refrigerators simultaneously on one instrument to attain the desired temperatures. The two-stage refrigerators provide 0.3 W at 80 K and 1.5 W at 135 K and have demonstrated the longest duration orbital operation of any mechanical refrigerators to date. A summary of the design, ground tests, and orbital operation is presented for the cryogenic system. Apassive thermal switch was developed during the program, and its operation and performance is summarized. Orbital data that includes working gas pressure, temperatures, and heat rates are presented and compared with ground test data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 November 1980
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0245, Cryogenically Cooled Sensor Technology, (3 November 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.959343
Show Author Affiliations
L. G. Naes, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratories (United States)
T. C. Nast, Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratories (United States)

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

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