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A cryogenic capillary pumped loop (CPL) has been developed, designed, fabricated and successfully demonstrated by test. Using no moving parts, the novel device is able to start from a supercritical state and cool a remote dissipation source to 80-90K. Design studies were conducted for integration requirements and component design optimization and prototype units were designed, fabricated and successfully tested with excellent results. The development included the miniaturization of CPL technology to allow heat acquisition from sources with a small footprint and direct integration to a cryocooler cold finger. Applications include the cooling of cryogenic electronics, sensors, and fuels. The technology possesses many advantages over cryogenic heat pipes including ground testability and mechanical isolation. Because of the CPLs ability to transport loads over a distance, cryocoolers can be located remotely from the detector (up to a meter away or across a gimbaled joint). In addition, it passively seeks the coldest rejection environment, allowing a single cryogenic CPL to enable switching between multiple passive cryogenic radiators. This work was performed under funding from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Jane Baumann, Brent Cullimore