Cryogenic infrared mission "jAXA/SPICA" with advanced cryocoolers

Hiroyuki Sugita, Takao Nakagawa, Hiroshi Murakami, Atsushi Okamoto, Hiroki Nagai, Masahide Murakami, Katsuhiro Narasaki, Masayuki Hirabayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Since the next cryogenic infrared mission "JAXA/SPICA" employs advanced mechanical cryocoolers with effective radiant cooling in place of cryogen, the primary mirror, 3.5 m in diameter, and the optical bench can be maintained at 4.5 K for at least 5 years. First, the feasibility of the thermal design of the cryogenic system is presented. A 20 K-class Stirling cryocooler was then improved in cooling capacity and reliability for the mission, and the effects of contaminated working gas or new regenerator materials on cooling performance were investigated. Development of a new 3He-JT (Joule-Thomson) cryocooler for use at 1.7 K is also described, along with the successful results of a cooling capacity higher than the required 10 mW. A 4 K-class cryocooler was modified and developed for higher reliability over a five-year operational life and a higher cooling capacity exceeding the current 30 mW. Finally, we discuss a system for heat rejection from cryocoolers using thermal control devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Feb


  • He (B)
  • Joule-Thomson coolers (E)
  • Space cryogenics (F)
  • Stirling (E)


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