The Crystal Consortium Ltd (TCC) has signed an agreement to develop crystals that will form part of a unique solid-state cooling system, the ADR, being built by the Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) at the University College London.
The dysprosium gallium garnet crystals used in the ADR (advanced demagnetisation refrigerator) are currently available in small random sizes – TCC’s task is to develop an increased size of crystal to specification, and supply a small number of these improved crystals to MSSL. ‘We look forward to working with MSSL and others in the space industry, to improve the quality and reproducibility of crystal-based components, and make the design a reality,’ said Dr Tony Vere, CEO of TCC.
The ADR fulfils the need for a fully automated, reliable, long-lasting cryogenic cooler for space X-ray detectors. ‘These crystals will be used for the ESA XEUS space telescope,’ said Stephen-Mark Williams, Sales and Marketing Director at WC.
XEUS is an ESA project to place a permanent X-ray observatory in space.