Thales Cryogenics (NL) and Thales Cryogenie (F), formerly known as Signaal Usfa and Cryotechnologies, closely co-operate in the field of production and development of linear and rotary cryocoolers. Over the past years, Thales Cryogenics has developed a complete range of long life Stirling cryocoolers with flexure bearings. In this paper the main design features of the flexure bearing compressor are revealed and their importance is explained. Currently, a complete range of flexure bearing cryocoolers is fully qualified and ready for serial production. With these cryocoolers, which are available in slip-on configuration as well as IDCA (Integrated Detector Cooler Assembly), up to 6W @80K cooling power can be obtained. Also a pulse tube cryocooler with a specified cooling power of 500 mW @80K has been developed and is ready for serial production. Two specific production machines have been developed and introduced in the production line. With this equipment Thales Cryogenics has been able to further improve the quality and reproducibility of its coolers. Up to now, several flexure bearing cryocoolers have been built and integrated in various new commercial and military applications requiring long life cryocoolers. Besides this, Thales Cryogenics is active in several space applications in co-operation with Air Liquide/DTA.
M. Meijers, A.A.J. Benschop and J.C. Mullié