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Micro Cryogenic Coolers for IR Imaging



Ryan J. Lewis, Yunda Wang, Jill Cooper, Mu Hong Lin, Victor M. Bright, Yung-Cheng Lee, Peter E. Bradley, Ray Radebaugh, Marcia L. Huber


Joule-Thomson micro cryogenic coolers (MCCs) are a preferred approach for small and low power cryocoolers. With the same heat lift, MCC's power input can be only 1/10 of a thermoelectric cooler's input, and MCC's size can be only 1/10 of a Stirling cooler's size. With futuristic planar MCC and with high frequency MEMS compressors to be developed, its size can be reduced another order of magnitude. Such "invisible" cryocoolers may revolutionize future IR imaging systems. We will review our studies on the feasibility of MCC with an emphasis on: 1) high thermal isolation levels reaching 89,000 K/W; 2) custom-designed gas mixtures with refrigeration capabilities increased by 10X and pressure ratio reduced to only 4:1; 3) compressors with low pressure ratios; and 4) excellent scalability for further size reduction.
Proceedings Title
SPIE 2011 Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference
Conference Dates
April 25-29, 2011
Conference Location
Orlando, FL, US


Cryocooler, Cryogenic, Joule-Thomson, Packaging, MEMS, IR Imaging, Thermoelectric, Stirling, Cooler


Lewis, R. , Wang, Y. , Cooper, J. , Lin, M. , Bright, V. , Lee, Y. , Bradley, P. , Radebaugh, R. and Huber, M. (2011), Micro Cryogenic Coolers for IR Imaging, SPIE 2011 Defense, Security, and Sensing Conference, Orlando, FL, US, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created April 28, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021