18-20 October 2022
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

Development of a compact high-effectiveness recuperator for a space 40 K Reverse Turbo-Brayton cooler

18 Oct 2022, 14:00


thermal control technologies Thermal Control


Aleksandra Onufrena (CER/ESA/UTwente)


A space 40 K Reverse Turbo-Brayton (RTB) cooler is currently under development in Europe to enable a variety of cooling needs, including vibration-free cooling of sensitive detectors and improvement of low-temperature cryochains. The performance of an RTB cooler relies on the effective heat exchange in its recuperator. In this context, a novel high-effectiveness mesh-based recuperator concept has been developed in a collaboration between ESA, CERN and University of Twente. The mesh-based design was already constructed for on-ground particle accelerator applications and an effectiveness of over 99 % has been experimentally demonstrated. A numerical model was created to predict thermal performance of such a recuperator and its reliability for neon as a working fluid was experimentally validated. In this work, three potential recuperator designs for the space RTB application are presented. The designs were sized to fit the stringent requirements from ESA, amongst which an effectiveness of 99 % with a recuperator mass of under 2 kg. A prototype of the recuperator was manufactured and subjected to vibration testing at ESA’s Mechanical Systems Laboratory. Further, the recuperator has undergone leak and pressure tests at CERN. The experimental results of these tests are presented and future development directions are outlined.

Primary authors

Aleksandra Onufrena (CER/ESA/UTwente) Dr Torsten Koettig (CERN) Thierry Tirolien Prof. Marcel Ter Brake (University of Twente)

Presentation Materials