NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:05 S4.03-9709
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Cryogenic Systems for Sensors and Detectors
PROPOSAL TITLE:A 4-Kelvin Pulse-Tube/Reverse-Brayton Hybrid Cryocooler

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Atlas Scientific
1367 Camino Robles Way
San Jose ,CA 95120 - 4925
(408) 507 - 0906

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James R Maddocks
maddocks@cae.wisc.edu
1415 Engineering Drive, Rm 1339A
Madison, WI  95120 -4925
(608) 265 - 4246

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
NASA's ability to perform cutting edge space science, including lunar and planetary exploration, requires the use of cryogenically cooled detectors and sensors for advanced scientific instruments and telescopes. For example, to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of cryogenic IR focal plane arrays it is desirable to have on-focal plane, high-resolution, analog-to-digital data converters. Such A/D converters and supporting technology are currently in various stages of development. These and other detectors and sensors will require improvements in cryogenic system technology, including the development of lightweight, low vibration, highly-efficient, long-life cryocoolers if their useful lifetime is to be extended beyond a couple of years. To address these requirements, Atlas Scientific proposes to develop a 4K cryocooler that combines the efficiency of a recuperative, reverse-Brayton, low-temperature stage with the simplicity of a regenerative, pulse-tube, upper stage. The PT/RB hybrid is an innovative cooling system capable of achieving temperatures in the range of 4 to 10 K and is ideally suited to the requirements of many future space-based applications. The hybrid system addresses the issues of cryocooler vibration, reliability, and efficiency, while simultaneously providing an innovative approach to the challenge of interfacing a cryocooler with low-temperature detectors, sensors, and electronics.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
There are numerous future NASA applications. For example, to improve the ultimate signal-to-noise ratio obtainable from cryogenic IR focal plane arrays it is desirable to have on-focal plane, high-resolution, analog-to-digital data converters. Such A/D converters and supporting technology are currently in various stages of development. These and other detectors and sensors will require improvements in cryogenic system technology, including the development of lightweight, low vibration, highly-efficient, long-life cryocoolers if their useful lifetime is to be extended beyond a couple of years. There are many potential applications for the various components of the proposed cooler as well. A prime example is the use of the rectifying interface between the pulse tube and reverse-Brayton stages. This interface can be used in conjunction with a pulse tube or Stirling cooler to provide cooling for distributed loads or active shielding and re-liquefaction for zero-boil-off (ZBO) dewars such as will be required for the manned Mars mission.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
Non-NASA applications include two important applications: first, reliquifying the boil-off from MRI machines, and second, cooling cryopumps for use in the semiconductor industry. Both applications currently represent substantial markets.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING
Biomass Production and Storage
Cooling
Fluid Storage and Handling
Instrumentation
Production
Propellant Storage


Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12