With the achievements made in the last decade with respect to reliability and cryogenic performance, the use of Stirling
and Pulse Tube cryocoolers for new application areas has become viable. Thales Cryogenics has been challenged by its
customers to deliver robust and compact solutions for a variety of applications.
The test approaches within the Thales Environmental Test Lab – a centre of excellence within the Netherlands – have
been refined significantly, departing from the classical robustness testing principles, which typically consist of
submitting the product to an environment with a compressed energy allocation – shorter time duration and higher PSD
An overview is given of recent activities at Thales Cryogenics regarding the development and testing of linear Stirling
cryocoolers for extreme environmental conditions. A novel cooler will be presented that has been developed specifically
for operation in high ambient temperature conditions. In addition, an overview will be given of ongoing test &
development activities regarding coolers for operation under severe mechanical loads. Design aspects, margin
philosophy, test plans (including robustness testing) and test results will be presented.
Keywords: stirling, linear, cryocooler, robustness, temperature, shock, vibration
R. Arts, D. Willems, J. Mullié, R. van Leeuwen, P. Bollens, T. Benschop, G. de Jonge
Thales Cryogenics B.V. (Netherlands)