UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


20 Kelvin Vacuum Cryostat

MSSL have comprehensive thermal vacuum and cryogenic vacuum facilities used for qualification and acceptance testing of flight hardware.

The MSSL 20 Kelvin vacuum cryostat is a multi shroud design.

The vacuum cryostat is 900 mm long by 600 mm diameter and comprises of:

  • Outer stainless steel (type 304) chamber
  • An outer electroless nickel plated aluminium chamber
  • An outer G10 chamber
  • An inner electroless nickel plated aluminium chamber
  • An inner G10 chamber
  • An electroless nickel coated aluminium chamber which houses the flight hardware
  • A pulse cooler with extended cold head
  • A single piece construction gold coated copper strap which acts as an interface between the pulse cooler cold head and the instrument mounting base
  • An inner and outer beam CaF2 input/output window system designed to minimise the external environment influences

 This type of chamber design allows for efficient thermal de-coupling of the external environment to the flight harware instrument mounted in the cryostat.


Dimensions: 1m diameter by 1.1m long.

Hardware mounting area: 0.4m diameter by 0.6m height

Base vacuum pressure: 5 x 10-5 mBar.

Temperature range: 20K to 360K

Temperature control: Closed loop PID control, +0.2K -0.2K.

Temperature measurement: Eight Cernox sensors.

Temperature and pressure logging: 8 channel plus pressure logging, user set logging interval.

Electrical feedthroughs: Various Micro D-Sub connectors