NASA SBIR 00-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 17.04-8822 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 001179 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low Temperature Cryocooler

In the Low Temperature Cryocooler (LTCC) Phase I study, Technology Applications, Inc. (TAI) has performed the research, design, and analysis that demonstrates the feasibility for producing a 6 K cryocooler that is reliable, has high efficiency and low vibration, is lightweight and compact, and has variable load capability. In Phase II, TAI is proposing to design, fabricate, and test a protoflight system that will meet specific criteria to qualify it for a space flight experiment under the DoD Space Test Program (STP). Through the STP, the LTCC performance can be characterized during space flight to provide government agencies and the commercial sector with a space qualified cryocooler that offers far superior performance to current technology.

The highly efficient performance of the LTCC is achieved through the incorporation of a mirco-electro-mechanical-system (MEMS) technology expansion device. The design and development of the expander will be mature by the time the LTCC protoflight system is fabricated, resulting from a leading development through DARPA funding of a 70 K cryocooler that incorporates the same device. The Phase II program will focus on developing flight-like control electronics and designing and testing the protoflight system to meet STP experiment specifications.

TAI is developing new cryocooler technology to provide the government with capability to efficiently cool military and science sensors/instruments down to 4.5 K. The Pentagon?s Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) requires cooling of low temperature superconductor (LTS) analog-to-digital converters and digital signal processors to 4.5 K. There is a huge commercial market for LTS wireless base stations, which could occur concurrently with the military deliveries of the JTRS if the technology can be demonstrated. The U.S. Navy has LTS magnetic gradiometer using superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUID) that need 4.5 K cryocoolers with minimum interference from EMI and vibration; the medical industry is investigating SQUID detection of cardiac disease.

NASA has a need for cryocoolers for several space science programs for 6 K cooling of detectors and instruments. These programs include Constellation X, Next Generation Space Telescope, and Terrestrial Planet Finder. NASA also requires precoolers in order to obtain lower temperature cooling using adiabatic demagnetization and dilution refrigerators.

The cryocooler is an enabling technology for many commercial applications requiring cooling to liquid helium temperature. These include LTS digital electronics for wireless/optical network products, low-temperature Josephson voltage standards, and rectification power plants for the telecommunications industry.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Steve Nieczkoski
Technology Applications, Inc.
5445 Conestoga Court, #2A
Boulder , CO   80301 - 2724

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Technology Applications, Inc.
5445 Conestoga Court, #2A
Boulder , CO   80301 - 2724

Form Printed on 11-26-01 17:18