Success in Harsh Environments: Signaling the Future of Cryogenic Communications

Thin film technician processing a resistor board. Credit: XMA CorporationXMA, with its space heritage spanning from low-Earth orbit (LEO) to deep space exploration units, embarked on a journey to enter the supply chain for quantum computing more than 10 years ago. The driving force behind this industry expansion was XMA’s success in cryogenic temperatures down to approximately 4 K in space environments. XMA managed to strike the perfect balance between rugged materials that remained non-superconductive at cold temperatures and low-mass products. When quantum technologists cooled these components to millikelvin temperatures, the specifications remained unchanged. This consistent performance from ambient to cryogenic conditions has become XMA’s baseline for success. With the cross-pollination of knowledge between the space and quantum industries, XMA has experienced steady growth in both sectors, thanks to its novel designs and successful environmental testing. As space exploration and quantum computing continue to advance, XMA leverages the newfound knowledge from each industry to improve the other. 

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Principles of Operation for a ZPC Dilution Refrigerator

Zero Point Cryogenics' Model I Dilution RefrigeratorUnderstanding the basic principles of dilution refrigeration is essential for operating a ZPC dilution refrigerator effectively. While there are comprehensive guides available on the subject, we provide a condensed overview for quick reference. The first principle involves the cooling of helium isotopes. Helium-4 (4He), the common isotope, liquefies at 4.2 K under standard pressure. Further cooling can be achieved by pumping on it, extracting its latent heat of vaporization. However, the cooling power is limited by the exponentially decreasing vapor pressure of helium. This restricts the achievable temperature to around 0.8 K, realistically reaching 1.2 K in the laboratory.

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SpaceLogistics Sells Third Mission Extension Pod

An artist’s rendering of the Mission Robotic Vehicle with a Mission Extension Pod. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman’s SpaceLogistics)Northrop Grumman Corporation’s SpaceLogistics has sold its third Mission Extension Pod (MEP), a propulsion “jet pack” that extends the life of legacy satellites, allowing them to operate longer and more profitably. Under a purchase agreement with Intelsat, SpaceLogistics’ Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV), a servicing spacecraft equipped with robotic arms, will install the jet pack on an Intelsat communications satellite in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) to extend its life by at least six years. This capability builds on a long-standing relationship between SpaceLogistics and Intelsat that includes the world’s only commercial satellite-servicing missions in GEO.

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Swift Aircraft Selects GKN Aerospace to Help Reach RAF’s Net-Zero Targets

Swift Aircraft and GKN Aerospace are partnering to integrate a revolutionary liquid hydrogen propulsion system into light aircraft, driving the industry-wide shift towards sustainable flight.Swift Aircraft, the visionary company behind the innovative British aerobatic light aircraft called the Swift, has joined forces with a team of British innovators to drive sustainable flight forward. Their collaboration is supported by the Project MONET contract, awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), aimed at demonstrating technologies for achieving net-zero emissions during flight.

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Preparing for the Next Era of Neutrino Research

Image: Inside one of the ProtoDUNE cryostats at CERN’s Neutrino Platform Credit: CERNAt CERN’s Neutrino Platform on the Laboratory’s Prévessin site in France sit two large boxes encased in a red grating. Inside these boxes are vast chambers surrounded by shiny stainless steel. The boxes are the cryostat modules of the ProtoDUNE experiment. Despite their large size, they are tiny in comparison to the future size of their successors for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE), a vast neutrino experiment currently being built in the USA. The Neutrino Platform also houses an assembly station for the Tokai to Kamioka (T2K) experiment, another vast neutrino facility in Japan.

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Squeezing Superconductors

Image: Experiments on a family of cuprate superconductors resolve discrepancies in previous work and elucidate why the critical temperature varies with pressure.  Credit: A. C. Mark et al. [1]How electrons pair in cuprate superconductors depends, in part, on the crystalline landscape the electrons occupy. That landscape can be altered by applying pressure, which in turn causes the critical temperature (Tc) in some cuprates to rise, fall, and rise again as the pressure grows. But are the changes in Tc due to the atoms being pressed into a new crystalline structure or just being squeezed closer together? Experimental evidence is contradictory. To resolve the question, Alexander Mark of the University of Illinois Chicago and his collaborators performed experiments on the three members of the BSCCO family of cuprates [1]. They showed that the pressure-induced shifts in Tc coincide with changes in how the materials compress, which in turn reflect changes in electronic structure.

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Aspen Aerogels Launches Advanced Thermal Barrier Center

Image: Aspen Aerogels opens a cutting-edge engineering facility, the Advanced Thermal Barrier Center, in Marlborough, MA, dedicated to optimizing the safety and performance of battery packs for eMobility and energy storage systems, reaffirming their commitment to sustainability and electrification. Credit: Aspen AerogelsAspen Aerogels, a leading technology company specializing in aerogel-based sustainability and electrification solutions, has announced the grand opening of its state-of-the-art engineering and rapid prototyping facility in Marlborough, MA. This 59,000-square-foot facility, known as the Advanced Thermal Barrier Center (ATBC), will serve as the engineering hub for PyroThin cell-to-cell barriers, which play a vital role in optimizing the safety and performance of battery packs for the rapidly growing eMobility and energy storage system (ESS) markets. 

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Nanoscale Ultra-Fast Microscopy is Now in Your Hands

Image: Photograph of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) and the optical system developed in this study. Credit: University of Tsukuba.Semiconductors are foundational components of modern energy, communication, and myriad other technologies. Research on tailoring the underlying nanostructure of semiconductors for optimizing device performance has been ongoing for decades. Now, in a study recently published in Scientific Reports, researchers from the University of Tsukuba and collaborating partner UNISOKU Co., LTD., have facilitated technology development—easy-to-use, time-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)—for measuring the movement of electrons in nanostructures at high temporal and spatial resolution, in a manner that will be invaluable for optimizing nanostructure performance.

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Sunlight ‘Leak’ Impacting NASA’s NICER Telescope, Science Continues

Image: NICER telescope mounted on the Integrated Truss Structure of the International Space Station. Credit: NASAOn Tuesday, May 22, NASA’s NICER (Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer), an X-ray telescope on the International Space Station, developed a “light leak,” in which unwanted sunlight enters the instrument. While analyzing incoming data since then, the team identified an impact to daytime observations. Nighttime observations seem to be unaffected. The team suspects that at least one of the thin thermal shields on NICER’s 56 X-ray Concentrators has been damaged, allowing sunlight to reach its sensitive detectors.

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Early Universe Crackled with Bursts of Star Formation, Webb Shows

This infrared image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was taken for the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey, or JADES, program. It shows a portion of an area of the sky known as GOODS-South, which has been well studied by the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories. More than 45,000 galaxies are visible here. Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, Brant Robertson (UC Santa Cruz), Ben Johnson (CfA), Sandro Tacchella (Cambridge), Marcia Rieke (University of Arizona), Daniel Eisenstein (CfA). Image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI) Download the full-resolution version from the Space Telescope Science Institute.Among the most fundamental questions in astronomy: how did the first stars and galaxies form? NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is already providing new insights into this question. One of the largest programs in Webb’s first year of science is the JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey, or JADES, which will devote about 32 days of telescope time to uncover and characterize faint, distant galaxies. While the data is still coming in, JADES already has discovered hundreds of galaxies that existed when the universe was less than 600 million years old. The team also has identified galaxies sparkling with a multitude of young, hot stars.

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Tiny Quantum Electronic Vortexes in Superconductors Can Circulate in Ways Not Seen Before

Image: An artist’s depiction of quantum vortices. Illustration: Greg Stewart, SLAC National Accelerator LaboratoryWithin superconductors there are little tornadoes of electrons known as quantum vortices that can occur, vortices that have important implications in superconducting applications such as quantum sensors. Now a new kind of superconducting vortex has been found, according to an international team of researchers.[1]

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Decoding Superconductivity: “Charge Density Wave” Linked to Atomic Distortions in Superconductor

 Precision atomic and electronic scanning The spectroscopic imaging scanning tunneling microscope (SI-STM) used in this study achieves its extreme precision by being completely isolated from its surroundings. It’s situated in a cube of concrete that “floats” on vibration-cushioning springs anchored to the ground separately from the foundation of the Interdisciplinary Science Building on Brookhaven’s campus. An electromagnetically isolating Faraday cage, sound-insulating foam, and three layers of doors provide complete protection from any external vibrations.  “If there is any external vibration, that is going to kill the experiment,” Fujita said. “We need vibration isolation to perform the experiment correctly.”    When making measurements, a needle hovers over the sample at a distance of about one angstrom—one ten-billionth of a meter, or about the diameter of an atom—but not touching the surface. Applying varying voltages allows electrons to tunnel (or jump) from the sample to the tip, creating a current. The strength of the current at each location maps out the material’s electron density while simultaneous spectroscopic imaging captures the sample’s topographical features—including atomic positions and variations caused by impurities and imperfections.  Reference: “Periodic Atomic Displacements and Visualization of the Electron-Lattice Interaction in the Cuprate” by Zengyi Du, Hui Li, Genda Gu, Abhay N. Pasupathy, John M. Tranquada and Kazuhiro Fujita, 17 May 2023, Physical Review X. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.13.021025  This work was supported by the DOE Office of Science (BES).  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Keep up with the latest scitech news via email or social media.   > Subscribe Free to Email Digest  Facebook Twitter YouTube Pinterest RSS feed We recommend Reviewing Key Data: The Benefits of Multidisciplinary Nutritional Care ReachMD Improving Nutritional Care: The Role of Physicians, Dieticians, & Pharmacists ReachMD Powered by     POPULAR ARTICLES Gravitational Lens Effect,Quantum Particles MAY 20, 2023  Bridging Quantum Theory and Relativity: Curved Spacetime in a Quantum Simulator New techniques can answer questions that were previously inaccessible experimentally — including questions about the relationship between quantum mechanics and relativity. 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This discovery, achieved through precision measurement, uncovers a vital relationship between atomic structure and charge distribution, advancing our understanding of superconductivity.

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RFID Tagging Technology Streamlines Cryogenic Sample Management

Image: Ziath, an Azenta Life Sciences company, announced a revolution in cryogenic sample management – the Ri-Track Mirage 2D barcoded tube whole rack reader.  Credit: ZiathZiath, an Azenta Life Sciences company, announced a revolution in cryogenic sample management – the Ri-Track Mirage 2D barcoded tube whole rack reader. Traditionally, identifying the identity of frost-covered racks of 2D barcoded tubes taken from low temperature storage has been a time-consuming and error-prone process. Drawing upon proprietary Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging technology – the Ri-Track Mirage can reliably read 2D barcoded racks covered in ice and with racks taken directly from vapor-phase liquid nitrogen storage. The need to warm your rack to thaw it out, which may degrade thermally sensitive samples, to read your identity of your sample rack is eliminated.

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Researchers Investigate Reliability of Cryogenic Vacuum Distillation for Soil Water Extraction

The cryogenic vacuum distillation system. Credit: YANG BinThe stable isotopes hydrogen and oxygen (δ2H and δ18O, respectively) in soil water are widely used in ecological studies, which rely on the accurate extraction of unfractionated water from different soil types. Cryogenic vacuum distillation (CVD) is the laboratory-based technique most widely used in eco-hydrological studies. However, the reliability of this technique in reflecting soil water δ2H and δ18O is still of concern.

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Consortium Develops Cryogenic 4 K and 77 K Transistor Models

The Innovate UK-funded CryoCMOS Consortium, led by sureCore Ltd, reports that it has successfully created new, PDK-quality, transistor models characterised for both 4K and 77K cryogenic operation. Credit: EE NewsThe Innovate UK-funded CryoCMOS Consortium, led by SureCore Ltd, reports that it has successfully created new, PDK-quality, transistor models characterized for both 4 K and 77 K cryogenic operation. SureCore is using these to develop key foundation IP to enable the design of cryo-control ASICs for use in the quantum computing space. Key to supporting this activity were the accurate cryogenic measurements undertaken by Incize of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

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Chart Industries, Inc. and Crane Company Successfully Test a New Liquid Hydrogen Valve

Chart and Crane logosChart Industries, Inc. and Crane Company have successfully tested a new cryogenic valve designed and built by Crane for liquid hydrogen applications. This is the first valve launched from Crane’s CRYOFLO™ line of bellow seal vacuum jacketed globe valves, designed and tested by Crane, with final validation, review, and testing conducted by Chart. Final testing was conducted at Chart’s one-of-a-kind liquid hydrogen test facility in New Prague, MN, USA, leveraging Chart’s 60 years of experience with hydrogen equipment and the facility’s availability of the extremely cold cryogenic liquid for testing. Liquid hydrogen is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit colder than liquid nitrogen, and significantly colder than the temperature limit of most cryogenic valves.

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New Approach for the Identification of Metabolites Using LC with Ion Mobility and Cryogenic Spectroscopy

The new approach can separate isomeric metabolites in a matter of milliseconds and provide highly structured IR fingerprints for their unambiguous identification. Credit: Analytical ChemistryResearchers from Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland have developed a new approach for identifying isomeric and isobaric metabolites using high-resolution ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and cryogenic infrared (IR) spectroscopy. The complex structure of metabolites has made their identification challenging, and analytical standards are often required to confirm their presence in a sample. However, the new approach can separate isomeric metabolites in a matter of milliseconds and provide highly structured IR fingerprints for their unambiguous identification. Additionally, this approach allows for the automatic identification of metabolite isomers by comparing their IR fingerprints with those in a database, thereby eliminating the need for analytical standards.

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Cryogenic Bearings Smooth Way To ‘Greener’ Marine Power

Cryo Bearings-Carter ManufacturigThe pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continues as does the search for ‘greener energy solutions’ and one of the consequences of this is significant growth in the use of Liquid Natural Gas for marine applications. LNG has long been regarded as a sustainable fuel and has gained significant traction as a viable alternative for a wide range of commercial transport applications, including marine and shipping. It is estimated that 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide is generated by maritime traffic, which is why the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is increasingly looking to reduce CO2 emissions. While LNG is a much ‘greener’ fuel than the highly viscous diesel fuels typically used to power container ships and cruise liners, it does present significant challenges to fuel systems and pumps, specifically dealing with extreme (cryogenic) temperatures.

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4 Ways Cryogenic Applications of Helium Can Be Used

Image: © shutterstock/Anamaria MejiaHelium is a gas with properties that make it useful for many different purposes, from cooling to providing lift in airships. By understanding the basics of its cryogenic principles, we can understand how this gas works and its various uses. The aspects of cryogenic science emerged in early 19th-century experiments by Faraday and Joule. Cryogenics involves subjecting materials to extremely low temperatures, usually below -150° C.

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NASA’s Quantum Detector Achieves World- Leading Milestone

Members of the PEACOQ team stand next to a JPL cryostat that was used to test the detector. From left, Alex Walter, Sahil Patel, Andrew Mueller, Ioana Craiciu, Boris Korzh, Matt Shaw and Jamie Luskin. Credit: NASA/JPL-CaltechA new JPL- and Caltech-developed detector could transform how quantum computers located thousands of miles apart exchange huge quantities of quantum data. Quantum computers hold the promise of operating millions of times faster than conventional computers. But to communicate over long distances, quantum computers will need a dedicated quantum communications network.

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