BOULDER, Colo., April 8 -- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will participate in the study phase of the NASA Advanced Cryocooler Technology Development Program (ACTDP) contract to develop a 6 Kelvin cryocooler.
The primary missions using ACTDP technologies include NASA's next-generation space telescope (NGST), terrestrial planet finder (TPF) and Constellation X (Con-X) missions. These large space observatories will investigate the structure and evolution of the universe and search for the origins of galaxies, stars, planets and life. All these missions need a device that can reliably cool detectors and associated components to temperatures around 6K for missions that last up to ten years.
During the six-month study phase, Ball will develop a preliminary design for the 6K cryocooler. At the end of the study phase, NASA will select two study participants to build engineering models of the cryocooler during the demonstration phase. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory will manage the study.