Thermal Design for the Micro-X Rocket Payload

Abstract

Micro-X is a NASA funded, rocket borne X-ray imaging spectrometer that uses transition edge sensors (TESs) to do high-resolution microcalorimetry. The TESs are cooled by an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator, whose salt pill functions as a heat sink for the detectors. We have made a thermal model of the cryostat with SPICE for the purposes of understanding its behavior at low temperatures. Implementing modifications based on this model has further allowed us to cool the system down to a lower temperature than had previously been accessible and to improve its low-temperature hold time. These modifications include a variety of schemes for power through heat sinks and tweaking the conductance between the cold baths and the refrigerated hardware. We present an overview of the model and its constituent parameters, information about thermal modifications, and a summary of results from thermal tests of the entire system.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship.

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Correspondence to D. C. Goldfinger.

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Goldfinger, D.C., Figueroa-Feliciano, E., Danowski, M. et al. Thermal Design for the Micro-X Rocket Payload. J Low Temp Phys 184, 699–705 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10909-016-1549-1

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Keywords

  • Sounding rocket
  • Transition edge sensors
  • Thermal modeling