Development of a high-cooling power Liquid Nitrogen continuous flow cryostat

Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) cryo-cooling systems have significant advantages compared to mechanical cryo-coolers because they are almost vibration-free and require very little maintenance. ESO’s present standard continuous flow cryostat (CFC) is a very compact unit but its cooling performance is therefore limited by design. For cooling larger detector arrays in the future, the standard CFC is supposedly not powerful enough. ESO is therefore considering a re-design.


The present CFC has a LN2 input and a warm Nitrogen gas (N2) output, meaning that the gas heating is done inside the cryostat. Therefore the cooling power of the CFC is limited by the capacity of the exhaust gas heater which cannot be increased because of the space constraints in the existing CFC design.


The activity would cover the following tasks: measurement of the cooling capacity of the present design, design of the modifications, manufacturing of parts, integration of the system, system testing including measurement of the cooling capacity of the new CFC design.


Supervisor: Matteo Accardo  (Mechanical Engineering Department – Instruments and Cryo Systems Group)