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Raytheon : "Multi-Stage Thermal Isolator for Focal Plane Arrays and Other Devices" in Patent Application Approval Process

07/16/2014 | 04:50pm US/Eastern

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- A patent application by the inventor Bullard, Andrew L. (Manhattan Beach, CA), filed on December 31, 2012, was made available online on July 10, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Raytheon Company.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "A focal plane array is an image sensing device where pixels are positioned at the focal plane of a lens. Focal plane arrays are used in various types of applications, including long wave infrared (LWIR) sensors. In these types of applications, it is often necessary or desirable to maintain the temperature of a focal plane array at cryogenic temperatures. Thermal isolators are typically used to couple the colder focal plane arrays to warmer structures.

"Thermal isolators of various sizes, shapes, and materials have been developed over the years. When supporting relatively small masses, thermal isolators can be generally simple in design, but these isolators often suffer from low strengths, high costs, or high coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE). More efficient thermal isolators often require multiple components that are assembled together in order to constrain six degrees of freedom of motion. However, these types of thermal isolators can suffer from low structural stiffness, low resonant frequencies, and higher thermal conductivities than desired."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "This disclosure provides a multi-stage thermal isolator for focal plane arrays and other devices.

"In a first embodiment, an apparatus includes a first interface platform and a second interface platform. One interface platform is configured to be coupled to a support structure, and the other interface platform is configured to be coupled to a device that operates at a temperature different than a temperature of the support structure. The apparatus also includes at least one intermediate stage platform and struts connecting the first and second interface platforms to the at least one intermediate stage platform.

"In a second embodiment, a system includes a support structure and a device configured to operate at a temperature different than a temperature of the support structure. The system also includes a thermal isolator configured to reduce heat transfer between the support structure and the device. The thermal isolator includes a first interface platform and a second interface platform. One interface platform is configured to be coupled to the support structure, and the other interface platform is configured to be coupled to the device. The thermal isolator also includes at least one intermediate stage platform and struts connecting the first and second interface platforms to the at least one intermediate stage platform.

"In a third embodiment, a method includes forming first and second interface platforms. One interface platform is configured to be coupled to a support structure, and the other interface platform is configured to be coupled to a device that operates at a temperature different than a temperature of the support structure. The method also includes forming at least one intermediate stage platform and forming multiple struts for connecting the first and second interface platforms to the at least one intermediate stage platform.

"Other technical features may be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following figures, descriptions, and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"For a more complete understanding of this disclosure and its features, reference is now made to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

"FIG. 1 illustrates an example system containing a multi-stage thermal isolator in accordance with this disclosure;

"FIG. 2 illustrates an example multi-stage thermal isolator in accordance with this disclosure;

"FIG. 3 illustrates an example method for thermal isolation using a multi-stage thermal isolator in accordance with this disclosure; and

"FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate example methods for forming a multi-stage thermal isolator in accordance with this disclosure."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Bullard, Andrew L. Multi-Stage Thermal Isolator for Focal Plane Arrays and Other Devices. Filed December 31, 2012 and posted July 10, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=6615&p=133&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140703.PD.&OS=PD/20140703&RS=PD/20140703

Keywords for this news article include: Raytheon Company, Aerospace and Defense Companies.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

(c) 2014 NewsRx LLC

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