NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
A Focus on Cryogenic Engineering for the Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer (PIPER) MissionCryogenic engineering involves design and modification of equipment that is used under boiling point of nitrogen which is 77 K. The focus of this paper will be on the design of hardware for cryogenic use and a retrofit that was done to the main laboratory cryostat used to test flight components for the Primordial Inflation Polarization Explorer balloon-borne mission. Data from prior tests showed that there was a superfluid helium leak and a total disassemble of the cryostat was conducted in order to localize and fix the leak. To improve efficiency new fill tubes and clamps with modifications were added to the helium tank. Upon removal of the tank, corrosion was found on the flange face that connects to the helium cold plate and therefore had to be fully replaced and copper plated to prevent future corrosion. Indium seals were also replaced for the four fill tubes, a helium level sensor, and the nitrogen and helium tanks. Four additional shielded twisted pairs of cryogenic wire and a wire harness for the Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) were added. Finally, there was also design work done for multiple pieces that went inside the cryostat and a separate probe used to test the SQUIDs. Upon successful completion of the cryostat upgrade, tests were run to check the effectiveness and stability of the upgrades. The post-retrofit tests showed minor leaks were still present and due to this, superfluidity has still not been attained. As such there could still be a possibility of a superfluid leak appearing in the future. Regardless, the copper plating on the helium tank has elongated the need to service it by three to five years.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Rosas, Rogelio
(California State Univ. Long Beach, CA, United States)
Weston, Amy
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2011
Subject Category
Engineering (General)
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available