Cryocoolers 8 pp 719-730 | Cite as

Cryogenic Capillary Pumped Loops: A Novel Cryocooler Integration Technology

  • B. Cullimore
  • E. Kroliczek
  • J. Ku


This paper describes the initial development of a promising new cryogenic technology. Room temperature capillary pumped loops (CPLs), a derivative of heat pipe technology, have been under development for almost two decades and are emerging as a design solution for many spacecraft thermal control problems. This paper describes the highly successful first attempt to extend this technology to cryogenic temperatures.

While cryogenic capillary pumped loops have application to passive spacecraft radiators and to long term storage of cryogenic propellants and open-cycle coolants, their application to the integration of spacecraft cryocoolers has generated the most excitement. Without moving parts or complex controls, they are able to thermally connect redundant cryocoolers to a single remote load, eliminating thermal switches and providing mechanical isolation at the same time.


Heat Pipe Supercritical State Flight Experiment Heat Leak NASA Goddard Space 
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  1. 1.
    J. Ku, “Overview of Capillary Pumped Loop Technology,” National Heat Transfer Conference, August 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    B. Cullimore, “Capillary Pumped Loop Application Guide,” SAE 932156, International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 1993.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    B. Cullimore, SINDA/FLUINT Version 2.6 User’s Manual, September 1993.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    B. Cullimore and E. Kroliczek, “Cryogenic Capillary Pumped Loop,” Final Report for Phase I, Contract NAS5-32415, June 30, 1993.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Cullimore
    • 1
  • E. Kroliczek
    • 2
  • J. Ku
    • 3
  1. 1.Cullimore and Ring Technologies, Inc.LittletonUSA
  2. 2.OAO CorporationGreenbeltUSA
  3. 3.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA

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