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Published July 15, 2010 | Published + Submitted
Book Section - Chapter Open

Thermal architecture for the SPIDER flight cryostat


We describe the cryogenic system for SPIDER, a balloon-borne microwave polarimeter that will map 8% of the sky with degree-scale angular resolution. The system consists of a 1284 L liquid helium cryostat and a 16 L capillary-filled superfluid helium tank, which provide base operating temperatures of 4 K and 1.5 K, respectively. Closed-cycle 3He adsorption refrigerators supply sub-Kelvin cooling power to multiple focal planes, which are housed in monochromatic telescope inserts. The main helium tank is suspended inside the vacuum vessel with thermally insulating fiberglass flexures, and shielded from thermal radiation by a combination of two vapor cooled shields and multi-layer insulation. This system allows for an extremely low instrumental background and a hold time in excess of 25 days. The total mass of the cryogenic system, including cryogens, is approximately 1000 kg. This enables conventional long duration balloon flights. We will discuss the design, thermal analysis, and qualification of the cryogenic system.

Additional Information

© 2010 SPIE. The International Society for Optical Engineering. The Spider collaboration gratefully acknowledges the support of NASA (grant number NNX07AL64G), the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and NSERC. HCC is supported by a Princeton Fellowship in Experimental Physics. JPF is partially supported by a Moore Postdoctoral Fellowship in Experimental Physics. JEG is partially supported by the ASF Thor Thors Special Contribution Fund. WCJ acknowledges the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Spider cryostat was fabricated by Redstone Aerospace in Longmont Colorado. We are grateful to Robert Levenduski, Larry Kaylor and Edward Riedel for their contributions to the project. The Spider collaboration also extends special gratitude to Andrew E. Lange, who passed away on January 22. Andrew was a leading light of the cosmology community and a driving force behind the Spider project. He is greatly missed by his many collaborators, past and present.

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Submitted - 1106.2507v1.pdf


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