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Publications - Thales Cryogenics

SPIE 2019 – Presentation – Theoretical and experimental analysis of dewar thermal properties

D. Willems, S. Garcia, R. Arts, K. Ligtenberg, C. Vasse

With miniature high operating temperature cryocoolers becoming commonplace, there is an increasing importance of accurate determination of the thermal properties of infrared dewars such as heat load and thermal mass, as well as an increasing challenge to obtaining these properties. Especially in the case where operating temperature in the application is far from liquid nitrogen temperature, such as with HOT detectors, the use of the various known methods should be carefully evaluated. Inconsistencies in results between the various available methods, such as nitrogen boil-off, multi-slope warm-up calorimetry, and theoretical thermal modelling will be discussed, and the work being done at Thales Cryogenics to resolve these inconsistencies is presented.

 

ICC_20 Paper – Synergies between designed-for-space and tactical cryocooler developments

In this paper, an overview is presented of the latest developments of space cryocoolers at Thales Cryogenics B.V. Planned future developments for the LPT6510 cooler are presented, and the synergies between Commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and space are reviewed, such as design principles from space coolers being applied to an upgraded variant of the COTS LPT9310, as well as design principles from COTS coolers being applied to the LPT6510 for improved manufacturability.
Thales performed a simulation and experimental study into the coupling of an off-the-shelf pulse tube to a designed-for-space, high-performance compressor, and a prediction is given regarding what performances could potentially be achieved with an optimized design.

D. Willems, R. Arts, J. Buist, J. Mullié, G. de Jonge, T. Benschop
Thales Cryogenics B.V., Eindhoven, The Netherlands

ICC_20 Paper – RMs1 The state of art SWaP Cryocooler

The trend for miniaturized Integrated Dewar and Cooler Assemblies (IDCA) has been confirmed over the past few years with several publications of new generation IR detector’s working at High Operating Temperature (HOT). This HOT-technology enables the use of cryocoolers with reduced cryogenic power. In the past 2 years Thales Cryogenics BV and Thales-LAS-Fr have jointly developed a new generation of SWaP coolers to be used with the new generation detectors that could bring a competitive advantage to our customers. This new generation SWaP coolers of Thales consists of linear as well as rotary coolers.
In this paper special attention will be given to the design philosophy and performance of the SWaP rotary cooler RMs1. The design hypotheses used could lead to a new generation of rotary coolers which will be very versatile in the different utilization areas not limited to IR sensors.

Christophe Vasse, Jean-Yves Martin, Cédric Seguineau and Tonny Benschop
Thales LAS France SAS
4 rue Marcel Doret, 31700 BLAGNAC, FRANCE

ICC_20 Paper – A linear Stirling Cooler for extreme ambient temperatures

With the achievements made in the last decade with respect to reliability and cryogenic performance, the use of linear cryocoolers for new application areas has become viable. Thales Cryogenics has been challenged by its customers to deliver robust and compact solutions for a variety of applications.
One of these challenges is the use of coolers in extreme environmental conditions. In this paper, a linear Stirling cooler is presented that is designed for use in such extreme conditions, one of which is an ambient temperature of 150°C. The application for which this cooler is intended – the cooling of electronics and imaging sensors – requires 25 W of cooling power between 423 K and 223 K. Because of the need for a high-efficient solution within a limited geometrical envelope, a Stirling cooler was selected as the most suitable cooler type.
We will describe the impact of the high ambient temperatures on the fundamental thermodynamics of the Stirling cooler. Furthermore, we will present some of the practical challenges in the design of the cooler. Finally, we will present the results of the qualification and performance testing of the coolers that were built.

D. Willems, J. Mullié, F. v. Wordragen, G. de Jonge
Thales Cryogenics B.V., Eindhoven, The Netherlands

SPIE Paper – Robust Stirling coolers for sensing in extreme environmental conditions

With the achievements made in the last decade with respect to reliability and cryogenic performance, the use of Stirling
and Pulse Tube cryocoolers for new application areas has become viable. Thales Cryogenics has been challenged by its
customers to deliver robust and compact solutions for a variety of applications.
The test approaches within the Thales Environmental Test Lab – a centre of excellence within the Netherlands – have
been refined significantly, departing from the classical robustness testing principles, which typically consist of
submitting the product to an environment with a compressed energy allocation – shorter time duration and higher PSD
levels.
An overview is given of recent activities at Thales Cryogenics regarding the development and testing of linear Stirling
cryocoolers for extreme environmental conditions. A novel cooler will be presented that has been developed specifically
for operation in high ambient temperature conditions. In addition, an overview will be given of ongoing test &
development activities regarding coolers for operation under severe mechanical loads. Design aspects, margin
philosophy, test plans (including robustness testing) and test results will be presented.
Keywords: stirling, linear, cryocooler, robustness, temperature, shock, vibration

R. Arts, D. Willems, J. Mullié, R. van Leeuwen, P. Bollens, T. Benschop, G. de Jonge
Thales Cryogenics B.V. (Netherlands)

 

2018-04-18 SPIE Paper – RMs1 – The state of the art SWaP cooler

For five years, Thales Cryogenics has led a new development cycle in order to design and deliver a new generation of
SWaP cryocoolers. Both linear and rotary Stirling coolers have been developed.
SWaP coolers are especially designed to cool the emerging High Operating Temperature IR detector (HOT). Insofar as
optimal detector performance for HOT technologies are still challenging, Thales forced himself to develop a rotary
cooler that can cool detector at intermediate cold temperatures, ie. 90 to 140K, even if the optimal performances are
reached for 150K.
A first demonstrator was shown during the SPIE2015 exhibition. That prototype was useful to investigate technologies to
be introduced in order to drastically improve the compactness and the weight. Both aspects were reduced by 50%
compared to a legacy RM2. The achieved compactness was identified as an optimal trade-off between mass and volume
versus the associated production costs.
Last year, Thales worked on new prototypes of the RMs1 SWaP rotary cooler. That product is the results of the previous
R&T and design phases, on one hand, and the adoption of generic standards on interfaces like the cold finger in order to
simplify integration – and thus reduce overall cost – by our customers on the other hand. Associated performances were
presented and commented.
The current paper is focused on the qualification results obtained at the end of 2017. Especially, the available cooling
power versus the cold temperature will be shared, next to other important key cryogenics performances such as the cool
down time for dedicated detectors, characterized by a thermal masses and operational temperatures. Moreover, a
particular effort has been made on other “soft” performances, in order to greatly improve the user experience, that is to
say noise and induced vibrations. At last, first lifetime figures for the RMs1 are also presented and commented.
As a conclusion, the compliance of the RMs1 performances with expectations for HOT IR detectors is discussed, in
order to highlight the next steps of the development of the SWaP cryocoolers.
Keywords: Cryogenics, Rotary stirling cooler, IR detector, HOT, SWaP

Christophe Vassea, Cédric Seguineaua, Jean-Yves Martina, Sébastien Van-Ackera, Mikel Sacaua,
Julien Le Bordaysa, Thierry Etchanchua, Christian Abadiea, Sylvain Chaumeaua, Tonny Benschopb
aThales LAS France S.A.S., 4 Rue Marcel Doret BP70022, F-31701 Blagnac FRANCE;
bThales Cryogenics B.V., Hooge Zijde 14, 5626 DC Eindhoven, Netherlands.