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Miniature Stirling Cryo-coolers

Miniature Stirling Cryo-coolers

Technology tailored to long term operation

This range of coolers is designed for the cryogenic refrigeration, by gaseous helium Stirling cycle from an electrical power source, of the most advanced generations of infrared detectors in a temperature range of 50-120° K.

These coolers can be used in a wide range of applications: night vision systems, missile guidance systems, Thermal Imaging. They are particularly suitable for long-term autonomous operation on infrared cameras and binoculars. 

Powered by a 12 or 24 VDC electrical power source, Stirling machines are made up of a hot part – the compressor – and a cold part – the pressure reducing valve – separated by a thermal regenerator. Expanding the helium allows the pressure reducing valve to be cooled in a temperature range of between 50K and 120K. 
These coolers offer a guaranteed operating lifetime of 10,000 hours (K508), considerably longer than the life cycle offered by other commercially available coolers and require no maintenance or adjustment after installation. 
This type of cooler adds no noise to the spectral density of the detector noise over the whole operating frequency range specified for the detector.



K 508

K 526S K548 K549 K563 K515
Type Integral Stirling 1/2 W Split Stirling 1/2 W Integral Stirling 3/4 W Split Stirling 3/4 Integral Stirling low power

Split Stirling 0,6 W

Cooldown time to 77 K typ 5 min (250 J at 23°C) typ 5 min (240 J at 23°C) typ 5 min (500 J at 23°C) typ 5 min (620 J at 23°C) typ 6 min  at 23°C, 10 min at 71°C(210 J at 23°C, 300 J at 71°C)

typ 3 min (150 J at 23°C)

Total weight 450 g

970 g

600 g

950 g

290 g

770 g

MTTF >10,000 hours >5,000 hours >8,000 hours >7,500 hours > 5,000 hours >6,000 hours
Input voltage 12-16 or 18-28 Vdc 18-32 Vdc 18-32 Vdc 18-32 Vdc 12 Vdc 12-16 or 18-28 Vdc
Steady State input power 220 mW at 77 K 500 mW at 77 K 500 mW at 77 K 500 mW at 77 K 220 mW at 80 K 220 mW at 80 K
Maximum input power 17 W 35 W 40 W 40 W 15 W  
Ambient temperature limits

-40°C / +85°C operational

-56°C / +85°C non operational

-40°C / +71°C operational

-54°C / +85°C non operational

-40°C / +71°C operational

-56°C / +85°C non operational

-40°C / +71°C operational

-56°C / +85°C non operational

-40°C / +71°C operational

-40°C / +71°C operational

-56°C / +85°C non operational


Key benefits

  • Silent
  • Continuous operation
  • Outstanding reliability (MTTF): electric motor and electronic box are outside the gas cycle.
  • Flexibility: very flexible package configuration (K508)
  • Good levels of resistance to critical mechanical and thermal environments

Main technical characteristics

  • Acoustics: NF EN ISO 3744 (1995)
  • Environment: MIL STD 817, MIL-STD-810C


DDM programme on RAFALE fighter aircraft