Design and test of cryogenic cold plate for thermal-vacuum testing of space components

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This paper proposes a novel cryogenic fluid cold plate designed for the testing of cryogenic space components. The cold plate is able to achieve cryogenic temperature operation down to -196 °C with a low liquid nitrogen (LN2) consumption. A good tradeoff between high rigidity and low thermal conduction is achieved thanks to a hexapod configuration, which is formed by six hinge-axle-hole articulations in which each linking rod bears only axial loads. Thus, there is not any stress concentration, which reduces the diameter of rod sections and reduces the rods' thermal conduction. This novel design has a unique set of the following properties: Simple construction, low thermal conduction, high thermal inertia, lack of vibrational noise when cooling, isostatic structural behavior, high natural frequency response, adjustable position, vacuum-suitability, reliability, and non-magnetic. Additionally, the presented cold plate design is low-cost and can be easily replicated. Experimental tests showed that a temperature of at least -190 °C can be reached on the top surface of the cold plate with an LN2 consumption of 10 liters and a minimum vibration frequency of 115 Hz, which is high enough for most vibration tests of space components.
Cryogenics, Cold plate, Thermal-vacuum testing, Vibration test
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Díez-Jiménez, E., Alcover-Sánchez, R., Pereira, E., Gómez, M. J., & Vián, P. M. (2019). Design and test of cryogenic cold plate for Thermal-Vacuum testing of space components. Energies, 12(15), 2991