The Origins Space Telescope (OST) requires cryocooler exported vibration of less than 100 mN, which will be challenging to achieve with current technologies given the expected 500 mN to 1N exported force amplitude in the uncompensated cryocooler cross axes. The baseline Lynx design recognizes this challenge, presently assuming that a mechanical isolation structure and a long transfer line between the cryocooler compressor and cold head will provide the necessary vibration isolation for the microcalorimeter instrument. This approach carries structural design risk and necessitates a complicated, custom, unproven cryocooler integration scheme.
West Coast Solutions (WCS) and teammate Lockheed Martin Space (LM Space) propose to develop an active Cryocooler Exported Vibration Reduction System (CEVRS) for use with mechanical cryocoolers to reduce the jitter exported to the optical instrument and to simplify the cryocooler integration. Our target applications are sensitive space instruments in general, and the Origins Space Telescope (OST) and Lynx missions in particular. WCS will perform a trade study to downselect between an Electromechanical Cancellation system and a Piezoelectric Isolation system. In parallel and in close coordination with LM Space, WCS will develop the concept designs for the LM Mega Compressor to inform how it, and similar compressors, can be integrated into payloads such as Lynx and OST utilizing CEVRS to achieve the target low vibration. Finally, the Phase II demonstration system and proposed test protocol will be defined.
The early involvement of LM Space makes practical the near term targeting of the Lynx and OST opportunities, which enhances our confidence in the transition prospects for CEVRS. Cryocooler jitter is a constant challenge across the space IR imaging industry going far beyond Lynx and OST. By ensuring that the requirements are well informed by LM Space and the Lynx and OST program offices, we expect the successful completion through Phase II to lead directly into one of more program opportunities.
Ballistic missile defense, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and other non-NASA US Government missions have similar jitter requirements. These programs would generally require a larger constellation, so the expected market opportunities are larger, perhaps by a factor of three.