High Efficiency Cryocoolers


Keeping It Cool

Northrop Grumman has an extensive and highly successful history providing cryocoolers for Space and Tactical missions requiring high performance, low mass, high reliability, and low system level cost.

Northrop Grumman cryocoolers are used in multiple missions to cool sensors, scientific instruments and optics. To date, Northrop Grumman has delivered over 50 space flight cryocoolers. Designed to operate over ten years with unchanged performance, Northrop Grumman space cryocoolers have accumulated over 200 years of combined on-orbit operation without failure. Five of the earliest missions have been operating continuously in excess of ten years with the earliest exceeding eighteen years and counting. Northrop Grumman cryocoolers have never failed or shown degraded on-orbit performance.

The long life and high reliability of the Northrop Grumman cryocoolers is attributed to its fundamental design: our pulse tube cryocooler design which has no moving parts in the cold head. In addition, Northrop Grumman compressors are non-wearing with flexure bearings operating in the infinite life regime. Combined with its proven space cryocooler controller electronics produces a stable, highly dependable product.

Furthermore, this fundamental architecture provides intrinsically low exported vibration, and can be further reduced using active vibration control.

Northrop Grumman pulse tube cryocoolers are mass efficient and designed to produce minimum disturbance to the host instrument. Simple mechanical and thermal interfaces and standard electronics interfaces facilitate payload integration.

Northrop Grumman offers a robust product family of cryocoolers designed to meet a broad range of cryogenic needs. These include

  • Four standard compressor sizes
  • Various Cold heads. Available configurations include single or multi-temperature linear, coaxial, and Joule-Thomson cold head variations that provide cooling from 1.7 Kelvin to 300 Kelvin.
  • Multistage cooling options
  • Remote cooling options

The performance found in space applications have allowed Northrop Grumman to also address tactical applications that require high performance, low mass, high reliability, and low system level cost.

Northrop Grumman's proven cryocoolers and electronics offer scalability, efficient performance and demonstrated reliability to enable critical performance with assured mission success.