Thermal Design for the Micro-X Rocket Payload

D. C. Goldfinger*, E. Figueroa-Feliciano, M. Danowski, S. N T Heine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Micro-X is a NASA funded, rocket borne X-ray imaging spectrometer that uses transition edge sensors (TESs) to do high-resolution microcalorimetry. The TESs are cooled by an adiabatic demagnetization refrigerator, whose salt pill functions as a heat sink for the detectors. We have made a thermal model of the cryostat with SPICE for the purposes of understanding its behavior at low temperatures. Implementing modifications based on this model has further allowed us to cool the system down to a lower temperature than had previously been accessible and to improve its low-temperature hold time. These modifications include a variety of schemes for power through heat sinks and tweaking the conductance between the cold baths and the refrigerated hardware. We present an overview of the model and its constituent parameters, information about thermal modifications, and a summary of results from thermal tests of the entire system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-705
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Sounding rocket
  • Thermal modeling
  • Transition edge sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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