August 1, 2013.
Astronomy at infrared wavelengths requires optical instruments that operate at low temperatures, which is typically done using liquid cryogens such as nitrogen and helium. These cryogens are costly and limit the operational time of the science instrument. The Standard New Astronomy Cryostat for SOFIA (SNACS) will provide a design for a helium cryocooler-cooled cryostat that meets the stringent airworthiness requirements of the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) and can be used by future instrument builders to reduce the cost and risk of their instrument design and development. The SNACS dewar will provide approximately 3.4 x 10-1 cubic meters of science space on an airworthy platform for optical instruments as massive as 300kg and operating at temperatures as low as 4K using pulse tube cryocoolers. This research examines the range of optical design configurations and focal planes that can be accommodated by SNACS.
Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics | Optics | Science and Mathematics Education
Jeffrey Van Cleve
NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)
This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).