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The Cryo-Pulse 5 Plus cryostat is an electrically powered cryostat for use with HPGe radiation detectors. It utilizes a pulse tube cooler, a highly reliable technology originally used in military and space applications and which has proven its value for germanium detectors in the original Cryo-Pulse 5 cryostat.
Like its predecessor, the Cryo-Pulse 5 Plus cryostat still consists of a cold head assembly, to which the detector is attached, and an external power controller. The basic external design and interface of the coldhead were preserved to maximize interchangeability between the previous and the current version. However the coldhead internals and the controller were completely redesigned and new features added to further improve the performance and reliability and to answer our customers’ requirements even better.
A pulse-tube cooler contains CFC free, non-flammable gas and is hermetically sealed, so no gas-refill is required. The compressor contains no oil or lubricant, so no contamination of the refrigerant occurs and no periodic filter exchange is required. This makes the Cryo-Pulse 5 Plus cryostat completely maintenance free.
The cooler is integrated in a compact coldhead-assembly which is directly attached to the detector housing. The unit can operate in all orientations. The coldhead-assembly is connected to a bench-top power controller that produces the necessary output voltage to drive the compressor. The controller contains an auto ranging power supply at 100-240 V and 50 or 60 Hz. In addition to the relay output, the new controller is also equipped with a RS-232 serial interface to connect to a PC. A dedicated GUI allows remote control and status monitoring. Two BNC-connectors are located on the rear panel to combine the inhibit signal of the preamplifier and the controller for enhanced detector protection. The Cryo-Pulse 5 Plus controllers are backwards compatible with the previous Cryo-Pulse 5 model coldheads.
A pulse tube cooler operates with a pressure wave instead of a piston, virtually eliminating wear and vibrations. This means pulse tube coolers are extremely reliable (MTTF of about 3,000,000 hours) and have a demonstrated life time of over 100 000 hours or 11 years of operation. This life time estimation is documented in a paper that can be found under ‘Learning Center’ in the Technical Papers section of the Mirion website.
Although the compressor already produces very low vibration levels, all efforts are done to reduce these even more. Apart from shock mounts to isolate the compressor from the rest of the cooler and the detector housing, the Cryo-Pulse 5 Plus cryostat is equipped with an active vibration reduction system. An accelerometer inside the coldhead measures the vibrations generated by the compressor and feeds this signal back to the controller. The controller then adjusts the drive signal to the cooler so that vibrations are minimized. The system is even self-tuning such that it adapts to possible changes of the system’s vibration characteristics over time. It is currently the best available technology in the field and allows Mirion to offer the broadest range of detector models available with electric cooling and continue to provide high-quality detector solutions with no compromise on performance.
Our confidence in the Cryo-Pulse 5 Plus cryostat is demonstrated by the 5 year full warranty on the coldhead, in addition to the 2 year full warranty on the controller and the detector (in case of a new detector purchased together with a new CP5-PLUS).