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Cryogenics and Fluids Branch

SOFIA Payloads

Code 552, the Cryogenics Branch, has worked on cooling systems for two payloads for SOFIA, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. SOFIA is a Boeing 747 that is being rebuilt as a flying observatory.

Code 552 designed and built adiabatic demagnetization refrigerators (ADRs) for two instruments intended for SOFIA. Here are the websites for the groups that developed those instruments.

You can view an abstract of a technical paper on the HAWC and SAFIRE ADRs, as well as a list of other technical articles on our ADRs.

Code 552 had already developed an ADR for the X-Ray Spectrometer (XRS). The XRS ADR functioned as designed in ground tests. Unfortunately, a malfunctioning M V launch vehicle dumped it in the ocean. We have now rebuilt it for a proposed 2005 launch.

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Curator: Mark O. Kimball
NASA Official: Eric A. Silk
Last Updated: 09/11/2014