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 November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




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>