Northrop Grumman continues its record of success in space cryocoolers with the latest cryocooler system that is successfully operational on-orbit aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 (GOES-16) satellite.
The cryocoolers provide cooling to the Harris Corporation-built Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), which is the primary instrument on board the GOES-16 satellite. The satellite launched Nov. 19, 2016. The cryocooler system has been working successfully, supporting early testing that enabled release of ABI’s first images to the public.
Northrop Grumman’s High Efficiency Cryocooler (HEC) system consists of a pulse tube cryocooler and cryocooler control electronics. Each cooler system has two temperature stage coolers that provide the cryogenic cooling and temperature control for ABI’s high performance infrared detectors and optics. The cryocoolers are essential for proper operation of the ABI optics and infrared detectors, which need to be cooled to cryogenic temperatures.
"High thermal efficiency, superior cooling capacity and reliability are key factors for critical space missions,” said Chris Yamada, vice president and general manager, aerospace products, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “We are proud of the leadership position of our Northrop Grumman cryocooler product lines.”
The HEC class is a member of Northrop Grumman’s premier cryocooler product lines. These coolers, along with the other long life coolers, have demonstrated more than 200 years of combined successful space operation without a failure.
GOES-16 is the first in a next-generation series of satellites that will improve weather forecasting by providing three times more data and four times the resolution five times faster than today’s GOES weather satellites.