Satellite Cooling System Paves Way for More Compact Sensor Systems

A team of scientists from Lockheed Martin have produced a small satellite cooling system, the high power Microcryocooler, which is the lightest on the market and three times more powerful than the company’s first design. This design will pave the way for smaller and more compact IR sensor systems and novel sensor configurations.

“The High Power Microcryocooler is making a large impact for small products. Our previous design was a revolution in size, and now we’re taking it further and packing it with increased power. This will make a difference for technology in space, on naval ships and aboard aircraft,” Dr. Jeffrey Olson, a research scientist at Lockheed Martin, said.

The reduction in size and its compact design will lead to cheaper satellites and launches for the aerospace industry.

“Highly sophisticated electronics like satellite sensors and cameras need to be cooled to detect what they’re designed to capture, even to temperatures as low as -320 F (-195 C). Smaller cryocoolers mean more affordable satellites and launches, and they have applications on Earth, too. With higher power, this microcryocooler enables larger, more sensitive IR sensors, which is especially useful for very high-resolution images,” according to

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