Linear Compressors: Motor Configuration, Modulation and Systems
Cryogenic coolers are usually conjugated with sensitive electronics and sensors of military, commercial or scientific space payloads. The general requirements are high reliability and power efficiency, low vibration export, ability to survive launch vibration extremes and long-term exposure to space radiation. A long standing paradigm of using exclusively space heritage derivatives of legendary "Oxford" cryocoolers featuring linear actuators, flexural bearings, contactless seals and active vibration cancellation is so far the best known practice aiming at delivering high reliability components for the critical and usually expensive space missions. The recent “responsive space” tendency calls for developing mini, micro and even nanosatellites being able of delivering high definition infrared vision capabilities and meeting the tight budget constraints. This activity has spurred attempts of adapting leading-edge tactical cryogenic coolers to meet the above space requirements. The authors are disclosing theoretical and practical aspects of developing a space qualified cryogenic refrigerator based on the Ricor model K527 tactical cooler and Iris Technology radiation hardened, low cost cryocooler electronics. The initially targeted applications are cost-sensitive flight experiments, but should the results show promise, some long-life “traditional” cryocooler missions may well be satisfied by this approach.