Many NASA and commercial space science missions require high performance electronics within strict budgetary limits. Many of these missions, therefore, use commercial-grade electronic products despite significant technical risk due to lack of radiation hardness. Creare proposes to evolve our commercial‑grade, three-phase Brushless DC motor drive electronics to be adaptable for missions which require higher reliability, radiation-hardened cryocoolers at reasonable cost. During Phase I, we developed a drive electronics design which meets cost and radiation-hardness requirements for LEO and lunar missions. We will ensure compatibility for future missions by working closely with a leading developer of low-cost cryocoolers with dozens of space flight coolers delivered to date and with dozens more already known in the future pipeline. During Phase II, we will work closely with our partner to fabricate and qualify a radiation-hard, low-cost cryocooler-control electronics solution for space missions. Successful completion of this program will substantially expand the use of low-cost cryocoolers for space-borne science, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
The successful completion of this program will provide mission planners with high-performance and low‑cost cryocooler control electronics that satisfy radiation-hardness requirements for small platform missions. The primary NASA application will be for cooling detectors, sensors, shields, and telescopes for planetary science missions.
The proposed cryocooler control electronics are ideal for small, cost-constrained satellite missions such as LEO CubeSats. Military applications include space‑based surveillance for Operationally Responsive Space missions and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.