Upcoming Thesis Defense: Samuel Denker

Title: Design and Analysis of a Novel, Ultra-Light, Cyrogenic Dewar for Balloon-Borne Observatories

Author: Samuel Denker

Date & Time: May 26, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Committee: Professor Marino DiMarzo, Chair
Professor Jungho Kim
Research Professor Yunho Hwang
Dr. Alan Kogut (outside scientist)

Abstract: The deployment of cryogenic Dewars aboard high-altitude balloons is critical to astronomical observation at sub-millimeter wavelengths. Balloon-borne, cryogenically cooled telescopes are limited in size by weight restrictions of the balloons, which is dominated by the Dewars. This thesis presents a portion of the multi-phase BOBCAT project which reduces Dewar weight with the use of thin-walled designs and a novel multi-layer insulation (MLI) system. The BOBCAT-1 mission used conventional Dewar technology to demonstrate cryogen transfer at float altitude and establish baseline thermal performance of balloon-borne Dewars. Design and assembly of the BOBCAT-2 ultra-light Dewar showed successful fabrication of the thin-walled vessel and novel MLI system. Thermal modeling predicts that the BOBCAT-2 Dewar will experience an order of magnitude increase in heat transfer through the MLI, equivalent to a 60% increase through the Dewar in total, due to its larger volume and decreased number of radiation shields relative to the BOBCAT-1 Dewar.