Enclosure for a Cooled Scientific Imager

Photo of Orion Campbell, Kaitlynn Hall, Greg Hesch, Eric Pak
Students: Orion Campbell, Kaitlynn Hall, Greg Hesch, Eric Pak

Sponsor: NASA

Date: Spring 2013

Requirements:
The design must provide 40°C cooling to the CCD sensor. The optical window must pass light wavelengths in the range of 280 - 1100 nm with a reflectivity of less than 2%. The optical window must interface with a T-thread as provided by NASA. The design must be air-tight and not allow any condensation in the enclosure or on the optical window. There must be no light leakage into the enclosure except through the optical window. No liquids may be used in the design. The enclosure must be dust free. The enclosure must not vibrate. The enclosure must have a flat black non-reflective finish. The enclosure must be relatively light-weight and compact.

Problem:
To design and build an enclosure to keep a minimum 40°C temperature differential between a CCD imager enclosure and the environment to reduce thermal noise without affecting the image quality.

Solution:
The solution is based on a two part housing enclosure: the upper housing is made of aluminum; the lower lid is made from black nylon. The team designed a copper cold finger that attaches to a thermoelectric cooler equipped with a commercial heat sink and fan assembly. The aluminum upper housing has a recess to hold the optical window and T-thread assembly. The power board is separated from the original circuitry by a nylon sheet to reduce transmission of waste heat to the CCD. A gasket and O-rings were used to ensure the enclosure is air-tight.

Images related to the project:

Photo related to Enclosure for a Cooled Scientific Imager project
Photo related to Enclosure for a Cooled Scientific Imager project
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