A Solid Cryogen Refrigerator for 50°K Infrared Detector Cooling
In the low-gravity conditions of a spacecraft, there is no venting problem for a solid cryogen, whereas for a liquid there could be two-phase venting.
In the solid system, the latent heat of fusion is available for refrigeration. For most cryogens, this is a 10 to 15% gain in refrigeration capacity. Additionally, there is a 10 to 15% gain in density in the solid phase. This permits construction of a smaller, lighter weight system.
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