Applications for sub-Kelvin cryocoolers

Our products can be used in a wide range of applications requiring cryogenic cooling, such as quantum imaging with low temperature detectors, secure communications, superconducting electronics and materials science.

Our GL4 modules, which operate at < 1K, are particularly suited to cooling superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors.

Our modules are a key component of the systems used by ESA to monitor the integrity of the fibre-optic communication systems for their Ariane 6 launchers.

They are used as components in the systems being developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for their Deep Space Optical Communications project, which aims to achieve the first demonstration of optical communication from deep space.

The Quantum Imaging group at Glasgow University utilise our GL4 modules in a range of far-infrared, teraherz and microwave imaging applications.

Our custom heat switches are used in SOFIA, an airborne observatory that is a facility operated as a partnership between NASA and the German Aerospace Centre, DLR.

We make special low-off-state switches for use in low-temperature scanning probe microscopy, by the Julich research centre’s quantum nanoscience group.

Our GL7 modules, which operate at < 300mK, are used in many applications utilising arrays of Kinetic Inductance Detectors and Transition Edge Sensors.

Our modules provided the final cooling stage in a Real-time multispectral fluorescence spectroscope designed to image processes in living cells.

Our modules are a key component of the teraherz imaging systems being developed for a wide range of real-time security imaging applications.

Astronomy is still an important field of application for our GL7 systems. For example, Purple Mountain Observatory uses our technology to develop new sensors for astronomical observations. Our systems even work on balloon platforms where no mains power is available: for example, a GL7 provided the cool for the detectors used in the SPIDER mission to measure polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation.

Working at the cutting edge of cool requires even lower temperatures than our GL7 modules can achieve. We have designed and built many bespoke sorption coolers to operate at lower temperatures, but without the bulky external gas handling requirements of competitor instruments. For example, the Ali CMB Polarization Telescope (AliCPT-1) being built on the Tibetan plateau at 5,250m above sea level, will utilise a bespoke GL10 cryocooler that has a base temperature below 200mK and high heat lift.

MUSCAT is a large-format, millimetre-wave astronomical camera, consisting of 1,500 background-limited lumped-element kinetic inductance detectors, intended for deployment on the Large Millimeter Telescope at Volcán Sierra Negra, Mexico. MUSCAT uses three CRC systems as part of its cooling systems; a continuous CC4 to provide buffer cooling of the enclosure at 1K, and a CC7 300 mK system to provide pre-cooling of a minidilutor module. The minidilutor provides the final stage of continuous cooling for the detector array to less than 150 mK.

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