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Low temperature helium top-off
From July 3 night, we started the final solid neon cool down, low temperature (superfluid) liquid heriumu transfer, and liquid helium pumping down of the XRS (X-ray Spectrometer). These operations last until July 5 midnight, just before the start of the launch sequence.
The XRS is one of the payload instruments of the Astro-E2 satellite, and uses two types of cryogens, superfluid liquid helium and solid neon as cryogens. Total observation time is limited by the amount of cryogens. Therefore, it is important to fill the helium tank with superfluid helium as much as possible, in order to extend its lifetime.
Photo1: NASA engineers, operating valves inside the XRS dewar
Photo2: After pumping down the supply dewar of liquid helium, pressurize the tank with gas helium, then start the superfluid liquid helium transfer.
ISAS/JAXA Department of High Energy Astrophysics
Last Modified: Wednesday, 06-Jul-2005 17:02:26 JST