1986-10-01

Magnetic Refrigeration for Space Platforms 861724

Cryogenic systems will be a part of the Space Station and future space platforms in a variety of applications, such as propellant management and cooling of scientific instruments. The projected Space Station initial usage of cryogenic propellants is relatively small so the primary refrigeration need is for cooling scientific instruments and various sensors. A potential method for meeting these cooling requirements is the use of a refrigerator based on the temperature changes in certain magnetic materials upon application or removal of a magnetic field; i.e. the magnetocaloric effect. This type of refrigerator, known as a magnetic refrigerator, offers potentially higher reliability and lower power requirements than conventional refrigeration units. Also, the higher power density of the magnetic refrigerator is an attractive feature for space station and space platform applications.

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