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Proceedings Paper

NASA advanced cyrocooler technology development program
Author(s): Daniel R. Coulter; Ronald G. Ross Jr.; Robert F. Boyle; R. W. Key
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Paper Abstract

Mechanical cryocoolers represent a significant enabling technology for NASA's Earth and Space Science Enterprises. Over the years, NASA has developed new cryocooler technologies for a wide variety of space missions. Recent achievements include the NCS, AIRS, TES and HIRDLS cryocoolers, and miniature pulse tube coolers at TRW and Lockheed Martin. The largest technology push within NASA right now is in the temperature range of 4 to 10 K. Missions such as the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) plan to use infrared detectors operating between 6-8 K, typically arsenic-doped silicon arrays, with IR telescopes from 3 to 6 meters in diameter. Similarly, Constellation-X plans to use X-ray microcalorimeters operating at 50 mK and will require ~6 K cooling to precool its multistage 50 mK magnetic refrigerator. To address cryocooler development for these next-generation missions, NASA has initiated a program referred to as the Advanced Cryocooler Technology Development Program (ACTDP). This paper presents an overview of the ACTDP program including programmatic objectives and timelines, and conceptual details of the cooler concepts under development.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 March 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4850, IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, (5 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.462788
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel R. Coulter, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Ronald G. Ross Jr., Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert F. Boyle, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
R. W. Key, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4850:
IR Space Telescopes and Instruments
John C. Mather, Editor(s)

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