Calorimetric Thermal-Vacuum Performance Characterization of the BAe 80K Space Cryocooler 929037
A comprehensive characterization program is underway at JPL to generate test data on long-life, miniature Stirling-cycle cryocoolers for space application. The key focus of this paper is on the thermal performance of the British Aerospace (BAe) 80K split-Stirling-cycle cryocooler as measured in a unique calorimetric thermal-vacuum test chamber that accurately simulates the heat-transfer interfaces of space. Two separate cooling fluid loops provide precise individual control of the compressor and displacer heatsink temperatures. In addition, heatflow transducers enable calorimetric measurements of the heat rejected separately by the compressor and displacer. Cooler thermal performance has been mapped for coldtip temperatures ranging from below 45 K to above 150 K, for heat-sink temperatures ranging from 280 K to 320 K, and for a wide variety of operational variables including compressor-displacer phase, compressor-displacer stroke, drive frequency, and piston-displacer dc offset.