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Development of a 4 K Stirling-Type Pulse Tube Cryocooler for a Mobile Terahertz Detection System



Peter E. Bradley, Eyal Gerecht, Ray Radebaugh, Isaac Garaway


We discuss in this paper the design and development of a 4 K Stirling-type pulse tube cryocooler for a mobile terahertz detection system. This system integrates new heterodyne detector technology at terahertz frequencies with advancements of Stirling-type pulse tube technology that brings the advent of cooled detector sensitivities in a mobile, compact, and long duration operation system without degradation of sensitivity. To achieve this goal we reduced overall system size, input power, and temperature fluctuations and mechanical vibrations in order to maintain the detector sensitivity. The Stirling-type pulse tube cryocooler developed for this system is a hybrid design employing a He-4 pulse tube cryocooler operating at 60 Hz and 2.5 MPa average pressure precooling a He-3 pulse tube cryocooler operating at 30 Hz and 1.0 MPa average pressure to achieve 4 K cooling for the THz receiver. The He-4 cryocooler employs stainless steel mesh regenerators for the first stage and ErPr spheres for the second stage while the He-3 cryocooler employs stainless mesh for the first stage, ErPr spheres for the second stage with a layered rare earth third-stage regenerator. Design details and cooler performance goals are discussed.
Proceedings Title
Advances in Cryogenic Engineering
Conference Dates
June 28-July 2, 2009
Conference Location
Tucson, AZ
Conference Title
2009 Cryogenic Engineering Conference/International Cryogenic Materials Conference (CEC/ICMC)


cryocooler, heterodyne detector, He-3, He-4, pulse tube, terahertz


Bradley, P. , Gerecht, E. , Radebaugh, R. and Garaway, I. (2009), Development of a 4 K Stirling-Type Pulse Tube Cryocooler for a Mobile Terahertz Detection System, Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, Tucson, AZ, [online], (Accessed March 4, 2024)
Created June 28, 2009, Updated November 10, 2018