In order to provide cryogenic cooling for applications that are extremely sensitive to mechanical vibration, Thales Cryogenics has been delivering U-shape pulse tube cryocoolers since 2001. The disadvantage of the U-shape design is that the available regenerator volume is too limited if the application puts constrains on the overall diameter of the cold finger, thus limiting the coolers efficiency. As presented at CEC/ICMC 2003, Thales Cryogenics and CEA/SBT have achieved very good results with a large concentric pulse tube delivering 4W @ 77K driven by a flexure bearing compressor. Furthermore, the same team, together with Air Liquide DTA, developed a very efficient 1W pulse tube cooler for the ESA MPTC project. Based on the experiences obtained with those programs, Thales Cryogenics and CEA/SBT have now developed a small concentric pulse tube that is driven by a flexure bearing compressor. The result is a very compact and reliable cooler (LPT 9510), with an efficiency that is nearly doubled compared to the U-shape version with the same overall external diameter dimensions. This paper describes the trade-offs that have been considered in the design phase, and gives a detailed overview of the test results, the status of the qualification program and a comparison with a comparable Stirling cold finger.
J. C. Mullié (1), P. C. Bruins (1), T. Benschop (1), I. Charles (2), A. Coynel (2), L. Duband (2)
(1)THALES Cryogenics, Eindhoven, 5600, the Netherlands
(2)CEA/DSM/DRFMC/Service des Basses Températures Grenoble, 38054, France