NASA IN-STEP Cryo System Experiment Flight Electronics for Spacecraft Cryocooler Control and Characterization
Hughes has developed, under contract to NASA/JPL, an inexpensive cryocooler flight electronics package for use with the NASA Hitchhiker system as part of the Cryo System Experiment (CSE). The CSE, a NASA In-Space Technology Experiments Program (IN-STEP), was developed by Hughes Aircraft Company to validate micro-gravity space performance of a 65K cryogenic system for focal planes, optics, instruments, or other cyrogenically cooled equipment. The system consists of an electronics package, ground control station, and software to operate and characterize a Hughes long-life, low-vibration, 65K, Improved Standard Spacecraft (Stirling-cycle) Cryocooler and a diode oxygen heat pipe thermal switch that enables physical separation between the cooling source and the element to be cooled.
To operate the cryocooler, the electronics subsystem uses high-reliability/long-life electronic designs with direct heritage to Hughes developed flight cryocooler electronics. Previously flown, military grade, “off the shelf” electronics designs are used for system command, control, and data collection. A standard personal computer provides the ground control station, telemetry recorder, and post flight data recovery and analysis station.
Presented are the electronics subsystem description, capabilities, system integration issues, lessons learned, and sample characterization data collected.
KeywordsMotor Drive Static Random Access Memory Goddard Space Flight Center Ground Control Station Power Port
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