Avishai Filis , Nachman Pundak, Moshe Barak, Ze’ev Porat , Mordechai Jaeger (RAFAEL)
RICOR – Cryogenic & Vacuum Systems, En Harod Ihud 18960, Israel
The growing demand for EO applications that work around the clock 24hr/7days a week, such as in border surveillance systems, emphasizes the need for a highly reliable cryocooler having increased operational availability and decreased integrated system Life Cycle (ILS) cost. In order to meet this need RICOR has developed a new rotary Stirling cryocooler, model K508N, intended to double the K508’s operating MTTF achieving 20,000 operating MTTF hours.
The K508N employs RICOR’s latest mechanical design technologies such as optimized bearings and greases, bearings preloading, advanced seals, laser welded cold finger and robust design structure with increased natural frequency compared to the K508 model.
The cooler enhanced MTTF was demonstrated by a Validation and Verification (V&V) plan comprising analytical means and a comparative accelerated life test between the standard K508 and the K508N models. Particularly, point estimate and confidence interval for the MTTF improvement factor where calculated periodically during and after the test. The (V&V) effort revealed that the K508N meets its MTTF design goal. The paper will focus on the technical and engineering aspects of the new design. In addition it will discuss the market needs and expectations, investigate the reliability data of the present reference K508 model; and report the accelerate life test data and the statistical analysis methodology as well as its underlying assumptions and results.
Keywords: Cryocooler, Rotary integral, Stirling, Weibull distribution, MTTF, RICOR, K508N.