Status of Programs for the DoD Family of Linear Drive Cryogenic Coolers for Weapon Systems
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The Standard Advanced Dewar Assembly (SADA) is the critical module in the Department of Defense (DOD) standardization effort of second-generation thermal imaging systems. DOD has established a family of SADAs to address high performance (SADA I), mid-to-high performance (SADA II), and compact class (SADA III) systems. SADAs consist of the Infrared Focal Plane Array (IRFPA), Dewar, Command & Control Electronics (C&CE), and the cryogenic coolers. SADAs are used in weapons systems such as Comanche, the M1 Abrams tank, the M2 Bradley fighting vehicle, and the Javelin CLU.
The linear drive cryocoolers maintain the Infrared Focal Plane Arrays (IRFPAs) at the desired operating temperature. Stirling linear drive cryocoolers are being used in place of Stirling rotary coolers. DOD has defined a family of tactical linear drive coolers in support of the family of SADAs. These coolers are required to have low input power, a quick cool-down tune, low vibration output, low audible noise, and higher reliability. This paper (1) outlines the characteristics of each cooler, (2) presents the status and results of qualification tests, and (3) presents the status and test results of efforts to increase cryocooler reliability. Flexure-spring designs of the 0.15 watt and 1.0 watt coolers are currently in reliability growth testing.
KeywordsWeapon System Cryogenic Cooler Helical Spring Reduce Manufacturing Cost Infrared Focal Plane Array
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