Active Refrigeration for Space Astrophysics Missions
The use of cryogen dewars limits mission lifetime, increases sensor mass, and increases program engineering and launch costs on spacebased low-background, precision-pointing instruments, telescopes and interferometers. The recent development of long-life mechanical and sorption coolers capable of refrigeration to temperatures below 2.5 Kelvin, combined with the innovative use of cryogenic radiators and thermally advantageous orbits, is enabling long duration (>5 years) missions that can perform high resolution infrared and sub-mm wave astronomical observations. Several of the available long-life cooling techniques are summarized. This discussion includes: the use of radiators to temperatures as low as 30 K; and the combination of cryogenic radiators with mechanical coolers through a heat interceptor to substantially improve the cooler’s efficiency and reduce the required refrigeration. The design of a brassboard 10 K cooler, which will be completed in 1995, for cooling an IR camera is also outlined. A cooler based on this design can be constructed for flight missions which provides 10 mW of continuous refrigeration with an input power of less than 10 watts and a mass of six kg.
As an example of the potential benefits of this proposed thermal design strategy, the potential benefits to two missions, FIRST and WIRE, are described. The low mass and input power requirements associated with several of these long-life cooling techniques could lead to the development of a new class of small, inexpensive space observatories.
KeywordsHalo Orbit Cool Requirement Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Thermal Shield Pulse Tube Cooler
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.SIRTF Science Working Group, “A Comparison of SIRTF with Radiatively/Mechanically Cooled Telescope Concept,” September 10, 1993, pg. 11; and Beckwith, S., et al., “FIRST: Far Infra-Red and Submillimetre Space Telescope,” SCI, vol. 93 (1993) pg.6.Google Scholar
- 3.Johnson, D.L., and Ross, R.G., “Cryocooler Coldfinger Heat Interceptor,” to be published in Cryocoolers-8, ed. by Ross, R.G., Plenum Press, 1995.Google Scholar
- 4.Petrick, W., JPL, private communication, November 1993.Google Scholar
- 6.Werner, M., JPL, private communication, May 1994 and Staats, JR., “Division 35 SIRTF Peer Review.” JPL IOM 3522-94-010, February 7, 1994.Google Scholar
- 7.Bard, S., Wu, J., Karlmann, P., Mirate, C. and Wade, L., “Component Reliability Testing of Long-Life Sorption Cryocoolers,” to be published in Cryocoolers-8, ed. by Ross, R.G., Plenum Press, 1995.Google Scholar
- 8.Bard, S., et al., “Ground Testing of a 10 K Sorption Cryocooler Flight Experiment (BETSCE),” to be published in Cryocoolers-8, ed. by Ross, R.G., Plenum Press, 1995.Google Scholar
- 9.Wade, L.A., “Advances in Cryogenic Sorption Cooling,” Recent Advances In Cryogenic Engineering, ASME, HTD-Vol. 267 (1993), pp. 57-63.Google Scholar
- 10.Jones, B.G. and Ramsey, D.W., “Qualification of a 4 K Mechanical Cooler for Space Applications,” to be published in Cryocoolers-8, ed. by Ross, R.G., Plenum Press, 1995.Google Scholar
- 11.Orlowska, A., Bradshaw T.W., and Hieatt, J., “Development Status of a 2.5 — 4 K Closed Cycle Cooler Suitable for Space Use,” to be published in Cryocoolers-8, ed. by Ross, R.G., Plenum Press. 1995.Google Scholar
- 12.Bradshow, T.W., Hieatt, J., Griffin, M., and Ade, P., “An Investigation Into The Effects of Closed Cycle Coolers on Bolometric Detectors,” European Space Agency Contract Report. August 1993.Google Scholar
- 13.P. Kittel, AMES Research Center, private communication, February 24, 1994.Google Scholar
- 14.Benoit, A., and Pujol, S., “Project for a Low Temperature Dilution Refrigerator Pre-Cooled with a Cryogenerator,” presented at the 1994 ESA cryocooler conference.Google Scholar
- 16.Lounasmaa, O.V., “Experimental Principles and Methods Below 1 K,” Academic Press, 1974, pg. 16.Google Scholar
- 17.Duband, L., Alsop, C, Lange, A., and Kittel, P., “A Rocket-Borne Helium 3 Refrigerator,” Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, Plenum Press, New York, NY, vol. 35, Part B (1990), pp. 1447–1456.Google Scholar
- 18.Scull, S.R., and Batchelor, M., “Cryogenic Cooling of the FIRST. Payload,” presented at the June 1994 ICEC.Google Scholar
- 19.Donabedian, M., Glaister, D.S., and Bernstein, M.D., “Cryogenic Systems Integration Model (CSIM),” to be published in Cryocoolers-8, ed. by Ross, R.G., Plenum Press, 1995.Google Scholar
- 20.Hacking, P.B., “Wide-Field Infrared Explorer Section 1 Investigation and Technical Plan,” Proposal submitted January 12, 1993.Google Scholar