Defense

August 20, 2014

Air Force, Creare develop technology

CREARE engineers test the 10 K cryocooler in a thermal vacuum chamber. The Air Force and the New Hampshire-based business developed a two-stage turbo-Brayton cryocooler that is expected to enhance operation of space-based infrared detectors.

The Air Force and Creare, a small, New Hampshire-based business, developed a two-stage turbo-Brayton cryocooler that is expected to enhance operation of space-based infrared detectors.

The resulting technology responds to Air Force requirements for improvements in performance of electro-optical space payloads by improving components of the cryocooling system.

Managed by personnel at the Air Force Research Laboratory, the multi-phase Small Business Innovation Research program resulted in turbo-machine-based Brayton cryocoolers, which are ideal candidates for space-based infrared detectors because they are highly efficient, lightweight, vibration-free, multi-stage compatible and have long maintenance-free lifetimes.

“Providing extremely low temperature refrigeration is a requirement of certain infrared detectors,” said Thomas Fraser, the Air Force program manager. “The method developed during this program is a very efficient method of refrigeration using miniature turbines spinning at thousands of revolutions per second.

“This technology offers a long lifetime through use of advanced, non-contact bearing technology and we expect it to support long, 10 or more year orbit lifespans,” Fraser added. “It can also provide cooling at a distance from the compressor and does not impart vibration to the focal plane array, which are limiting factors in other cryocooler products and types.”

During the course of the program, Creare developed the state-of-the-art components needed to create turbo-Brayton cryocoolers and integrated the components to form a two-stage cryocooler that provides refrigeration in the 10 to 20 Kelvin temperature range (10 to 20K is equivalent to -423 to -442 Fahrenheit). During the first phase of the program, Creare obtained key operational and performance data for the cold stage turboalternator. During the second phase of the project, they assembled a brassboard cryocooler, measured its performance at cold-load temperatures (around 10 K), and used the results in development of a preliminary design for a fully-optimized cryocooler.

In the past, Creare has successfully commercialized technology resulting from their SBIR efforts. They commercialize the technology internally via sales of custom or specialized hardware and software and engineering services contracts, as well as externally through creation of spin-off organization and licensing of technology to third parties. To date, Creare and its spinoffs trace $735 million in revenues as a result of SBIR projects.

The Air Force’s SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 to fund research and development through small businesses of 500 or fewer employees. It focuses on projects with the potential to develop into a product for defense or commercial markets. Congress also established the Small Business Technology Transfer Program in 1992. It is similar in structure to SBIR and funds cooperative research and development projects with small businesses in partnership with not-for profit research institutions (such as universities) to move research to the marketplace. For more information about these programs, including commercialization readiness assistance for existing contracts, please call the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program Office at 1-800-222-0336, email info@afsbirsttr.com, or visit our website at www.afsbirsttr.com.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>