Current Developments in NASA Cryogenic Cooler Technology

  • Stephen H. Castles
Part of the A Cryogenic Engineering Conference Publication book series (ACRE, volume 33)

Abstract

NASA’s two main areas of observational scientific endeavor, astrophysics and earth science, have scientific requirements that dictate the use of sensors with more energy resolution than the sensors used in earlier space flight instruments. With present sensor technology these scientific goals can often only be met with the use of sensors and instruments operating at cryogenic temperatures. In response to this need, NASA is developing a broad range of cryogenic coolers and supporting technology. These coolers will be capable of providing sensors and instruments with stable operating temperatures from room temperature down to 0.1 K or less. In addition to providing the desired operating temperature and cooling power, these coolers must have working lifetimes commensurate with the 10 to 15 year lifetime expected for major future NASA facilities. To meet this lifetime requirement NASA is developing long lifetime mechanical coolers and the capability to service stored cryogen coolers on-orbit. The types of coolers currently being developed by NASA include radiative coolers, solid cryogen coolers, surface tension confined liquid cryogen coolers, mechanical coolers, liquid helium dewars, He3 adsorption coolers, adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators and dilution refrigerators.

Keywords

Vortex Hydrated Foam Argon Helium 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen H. Castles
    • 1
  1. 1.NASA/Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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