Experimental design for the evaluation of high-Tc superconductive thermal bridges in a sensor satellite
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Infrared sensor satellites, which consist of cryogenic infrared sensor detectors, electrical instrumentation, and data acquisition systems, are used to monitor the conditions of the Earth's upper atmosphere in order to evaluate its present and future changes. Currently, the electrical instrumentation (connections), which act as thermal bridges between the cryogenic infrared sensor and the significantly warmer data acquisition unit of the sensor satellite system, constitute a significant portion of the heat load on the cryogen. As a part of extending the mission life of the sensor satellite system, the researchers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Langley Research Center (NASA-LaRC) are evaluating the effectiveness of replacing the currently used manganin wires with high-temperature superconductive (HTS) materials as the electrical connections (thermal bridges). In conjunction with the study being conducted at NASALaRC, the proposed research is to design a space experiment to determine the thermal savings on a cryogenic subsystem when manganin leads are replaced by HTS leads -printed onto a substrate with a low thermal conductivity, and to determine the thermal conductivities of HTS materials.
- Masters Theses