Novel Sub-Kelvin Cooling Techniques for Space Science Applications

Apr 8

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Prof. Franklin Miller, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The detectors used for infrared and X-ray space science missions are typically operated at cryogenic temperatures as low as 50 milliKelvin above absolute zero.  The state of the art technologies for this type of cooling in space are single shot adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators and single shot 3He-4He dilution refrigerators.  Although these refrigerators provide cooling to the required temperatures they cannot cool continuously. 

New refrigeration techniques that will provide continuous cooling at low temperatures are being developed in the cryogenic laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  A new type of superfluid helium pump has that is efficient and requires no moving parts has been developed to drive the new cycles.  The pump technology and its application to sub-Kelvin cooling cycles will be discussed.

Franklin Miller is Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Before joining the faculty at the University, Dr. Miller worked in the Cryogenics Branch at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  While at NASA he worked on developing cooling systems for space flight missions and as a cryogenic engineer on the James Webb Space Telescope.