A Miniature Pulse Tube Cooler is presently under development in partnership between AL/DTA, CEA/SBT and THALES Cryogenics. The Engineering Model foreseen is aiming to provide 800 mW at 80 K with 50°C ambient temperature and 40 watts maximal input power to the motors of the compressor. A development phase has been performed with an in-line architecture for the Pulse Tube cold finger connected to an existing flexure bearing compressor from Thales Cryogenics. Presently, more than 900 mW at 80 K has been achieved at 288 K ambient temperature provided by water cooling, in inertance mode and with less than 25 watts PV work. The development phase is presented as well as the various trade-offs made, both on the cold finger and compressor side, to cope with the thermal, mechanical and electrical environmental specifications. The impact of the matching between compressor and Pulse Tube cold finger is also discussed. This work is performed in the framework of a Technological Research Program funded by the European Space Agency. An Engineering Model will be delivered to ESA/ESTEC in February 2003. This coming generation of Miniature Pulse Tube Cooler will be used for the cooling down of detectors in future earth observation missions.
T. Trollier and A. Ravex (1) I. Charles and L. Duband (2) J. Mullié, P. Bruins and T. Benschop (3) M. Linder (4)
(1) Air Liquide Advanced Technology Division, AL/DTA Sassenage, France
(2) Atomic Energy Committee, Low Temperature Div., CEA/SBT, Grenoble, France
(3) THALES Cryogenics B.V. Eindhoven, The Netherlands
(4) European Space Agency, ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands