AIM is developing space cryocoolers for superconducting telecommunication components. The equipment should be available in 2001, and a mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for 2003. The basis for the cooler development is the AIM model SL200 cooler; it has a nominal cooling capacity of 3.5 W at 77 K, and is used for cooling high performance IR detectors. The space mission will have a duration of three years with two years in operation. The development was structured into the following phases: spin-off of classic design, implementation of flexure bearings, introduction of pulse tube cold head. Results are improved COP and lifetime. The current cooling capacity is about 4.3 W at 77 K with 96 W of input power. The expected lifetime exceeds 30,000 h. The qualification testing will start in July 2000.
KeywordsInternational Space Station Space Mission Cooling Capacity Engineer Model Pulse Tube
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