Impact UK Location: Redditch

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UOA15-09: Compact, lightweight compressors for space applications

Summary of the impact

Compressors developed at the Department of Engineering Science have formed a key component of the cryocoolers used to cool the infra-red sensors on satellites. Their low mass has trimmed almost $250k from the cost of individual satellite missions. Sixty seven have been sold to date, with sales totalling £2.8M between January 2008 and July 2013; three units are currently in Earth orbit with another nine planned to follow in 2014. A specialised version has been developed to achieve extremely low temperatures, with prototypes already built for the Mid Infra-Red Instrument (MIRI) that will form part of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Submitting Institution

University of Oxford

Unit of Assessment

General Engineering

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Physical Sciences: Other Physical Sciences
Information and Computing Sciences: Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing
Engineering: Interdisciplinary Engineering

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