Temperature stability limits for an isothermal demagnetization refrigeratorIt is pointed out that magnetic refrigeration can provide additional cooling for infrared detectors on space missions, taking into account the Shuttle Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) and the Large Deployable Reflector (LDR). From a temperature of 2 K provided by the primary cryogens, magnetic refrigerators could cool bolometers or pumped photoconductors to 0.1 K or below. Such a reduction in operating temperature would increase the sensitivity for bolometers, while the response at longer wavelengths for pumped photoconductors would be improved. Two types of magnetic refrigeration cycles have been proposed. One type uses a complete demagnetization. The present investigation is concerned with the second type, which uses a feedback-controlled isothermal demagnetization, taking into account the temperature stability limits. Attention is given to control system resolution, thermometer noise, reaction time, and thermal time constants.
Kittel, P. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)