Cryocoolers 8 pp 709-717 | Cite as

Cryocooler Coldfinger Heat Interceptor

  • D. L. Johnson
  • R. G. RossJr.


Spacecraft instruments requiring cryocoolers in their design struggle to keep overall power requirements in line with feasible solar array dimensions and launch vehicle lift capacities. Intermediate temperature (150 K to 200 K) radiators to cool radiation shields or optics on spacecraft instruments provide an as yet untapped resource for reducing the cryocooler power requirements.

JPL has demonstrated significant thermal performance improvements to British Aerospace (BAe) cryocoolers by providing passive cooling below 200 K along the warm end of the cryocooler coldfinger. Inclusion of the thermal strap to cool the coldfinger has resulted in 50% reductions in cryocooler input power with no loss in refrigeration capacity for coldtip temperatures near 60 K. It is clearly shown in this paper that the advantages of a hybrid cooler/radiator design have profound benefits for spacecraft.


Thermal Performance Compressor Stroke Cold Finger Spacecraft Design Mass Saving 
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  1. 1.
    Kotsubo, V., Johnson, D.L., and Ross, R.G., Jr., “Cold-tip Off-state Conduction Loss of Miniature Stirling Cycle Cryocoolers,” Adv. Cryo. Engin.. Vol. 37B (1991), pp. 1037–1043.Google Scholar
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    Ross, R.G., Jr., Johnson, D.L., and Sugimura, R.S., “Characterization of Miniature Stirling-cycle Cryocoolers for Space Application,” Proceedings of the 6th International Cryocooler Conference. Plymouth. Massachusetts. October 25–26. 1990. DTRC-91/002, David Taylor Research Center (1991), pp. 27–30.Google Scholar
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    Nast, T.C., and Murray, D.O., AIAA Paper No. 76-979, AIAA Technical Specialists Conference. Pasadena. California. October. 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Johnson
    • 1
  • R. G. RossJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryCalifornia Institute of TechnologyPasadenaUSA

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