Design and calibration of an electrodynamic driver for the Space Thermoacoustic Refrigerator (STAR)
Harris, David Anthony.
Volkert, Richard Eugene
Hofler, Thomas J.
Garrett, Steven L.
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The objective of the STAR project is to test and space qualify a continuous cycle cryogenic refrigeration system for the cooling of sensors and electronics based upon the thermoacoustic heat pumping effect. This thesis describes the design, assembly, and calibration of the electrodynamic driver and its associated performance monitoring and control instrumentation. The electroacoustic efficiency of the driver is measured under different operating conditions utilizing a prototype refrigerator resonator. These results are then compared to modelled efficiencies derived from a computer simulation program that uses the independently-measured individual component parameters to predict the driver performance. Good agreement between measured and predicted efficiencies is observed. Highest electroacoustic efficiencies are shown to occur when the resonance frequencies of the driver and resonator are most closely matched. A maximum electroacoustic efficiency of 50% is achieved under these conditions. More important however, is that the efficiency decreases by only 10% over a 30% bandwidth about resonance.
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