Cryogenics Test Laboratory (CTL)

Cryogenics Test Laboratory (CTL)

The CTL provides quick response cryogenic troubleshooting, and test and development capability, to support Kennedy Space Center processing and launch activities. The laboratory also performs focused research and development in areas such as thermal insulation systems, cryogenic components test and evaluation, low-temperature applications, and propellant servicing systems to increase operational safety and reduce system life cycle costs. The laboratory objectives are to develop materials, produce new technology, and promote engineering for energy-efficient storage, transfer, and use of cryogens and cryogenic propellants on earth and in space. The CTL maintains external partnerships with other government agencies, commercial vendors, and academia to promote technology development and improve the state of the art in materials, components, subsystems, and best practices in the field of cryogenics.

Capabilities

  • Wide array of insulation test cryostats for evaluation of materials and systems (77K to 350K, high vacuum to no vacuum, cylindrical, and flat specimens)
  • Wide array of cryocoolers (approaching 4K) and associated small vacuum chambers
  • Large scale field test environment in a simulated launch pad propellant transfer system using liquid nitrogen Liquid Hydrogen system with integrated refrigeration for zero boil-off and densification research
  • Clean area (High Efficiency Particulate Air filtration) for component assembly/disassembly and experiment testing
  • Steady state heat flow meter
  • Heat pulse thermal analyzer
  • Total emittance and solar absorptance reflectometer
  • Liquid natural gas broadband analyzer
  • Small environmental chamber
  • High-capacity gaseous nitrogen flow test
  • Liquid Nitrogen facility storage and distribution systems
  • Liquid Helium facility storage and portable transfer equipment High-vacuum pumping and instrumentation equipment
  • Helium mass spectrometer leak detection equipment Adaptable data acquisition and instrumentation capabilities
  • Fully equipped general-use laboratory and high-bay workspace
5.1 Energy Efficient Insulation, Storage & Distribution of Cryogenic Fluids - Hydrogen Liquefaction and Densification