Continuous Flow Cryostats
Continuous Flow Cryostats (CFCs) are cooling systems, first developed by ESO, based on an automatic refilling
(using a continuous circulation of LN2) with the following advantages:
- They are more compact, lighter and smaller than traditional LN2 bath cryostats
- They have less associated vibrations than standard cooling systems, ideal for stable environments
- They do not require daily human intervention, thus improving maintainability
- They behave safely in case of power failure
- Control solution based on Beckoff PLCs
CFCs allow the temperature within an instrument to be changed from room temperature ~ 290 K to ~ 80 K.
FRACTAL S.L.N.E. signed an agreement with ESO to access this technology (see
ESO News 9 of June 2015) and can
produce these elements as per client request.
- 4 Continuous Flow Cryostats (CFCs) for ESO have been already manufactured, integrated and verified (3 lateral
and 1 axial were delivered).
- A CFC prototype has been integrated and tested with the controller and control system based on Beckhoff technology
developed by FRACTAL (see
presentation at RIA-TEC2SPACE).
Applications for Astronomy
- High resolution spectrographs are the most obvious applications being very sensitive to any sort of
disturbances (i.e. UVES, HARPS, CARMENES, ESPRESSO)
- Nasmyth rotating instruments offering a constant weight and not affecting the instrument from any
change of gravitational load as traditional bath cryostats (i.e. NACO and VIMOS)
- Multiple detector systems as those that combines several spectrographs (i.e. MUSE) making