Cryogenic cryocoolers represent a significant enabling technology for Earth and Space science enterprises. Many of the space instruments require cryogenic refrigeration to enable the use of advanced detectors to explore a wide range of phenomena from space.
Since 1994 Ricor cryocoolers have been involved in various space missions beginning with the “Clementine” Moon mission and continuing with missions such as the Cimex space program, the Rosetta mission to Comet, the Messenger to study Mercury, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Venus Express, the Curiosity Mars rover, the ExoMars program etc.
Ricor’s tactical rotary cryocoolers have been incorporated in many space instruments, after passing tests at the system level, such as: qualification, life time, thermal management testing and flight acceptance.
The tactical to space customization framework includes an extensive characterization and qualification test program to validate reliability, the design of thermal interfacing with a detector, vibration export control, efficient heat dissipation in a vacuum environment, robustness, mounting design, compliance with outgassing requirements and strict performance screening.
In addition, Ricor’s development is focused on a dedicated ultra-long-life, highly reliable, space cryogenic cryocooler based on a Pulse Tube design.
Overview of RICOR Tactical Cryogenic Refrigerators for Space Missions
MSL/CheMin Cryocooler System Requirements and Characterization Tests
The Ricor K508 Cryocooler Operational Experience on Mars
Thermal Design and Performance of the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer for the MESSENGER Spacecraft