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Thales delivers new generation of cryocoolers for TRISHNA mission

This mission will help to improve the management of the Earth’s water resources and better understand the impact of climate change.
An artist’s rendering of Trishna. Copyright Airbus.

Thales has recently signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the delivery of two cryocoolers dedicated to the TRISHNA (Thermal infrared Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural resource Assessment) satellite. Thales Cryogenics, European leader in cryogenic technology and supplier of cryogenic coolers, demonstrates its ability to meet the demand for affordable high-performance cryocooling
in space instruments.

The TRISHNA mission is a cooperation between the French (CNES) and Indian (ISRO) space agencies and includes a Thermal Infrared Imager (TIR instrument) to enhance our understanding of the Earth’s water cycle. This mission will help to improve the management of the Earth’s water resources and better understand the impact of climate change. The launch is expected by the end of 2024. TRISHNA will use ground-breaking technology in regards to resolution and refresh rate. For the first time, a mission will image the Earth every three days in the thermal infrared range, at 57m resolution, measuring a wide range of surfaces temperature, from approx. -20°C to +80°C, with high radiometric precision (0.2°C).

This is the first contract for the new LPT6510 cryocooler, the design of which has been self-funded by Thales Cryogenics and its partner Absolut System, a cryogenic technology company.

The LPT6510 cryocooler from Thales Cryogenics will be used to cool the infrared detector in the TRISHNA TIR instrument to a very low temperature to optimise its performance. The LPT6510 is a cost-effective compact cryocooler targeting a wide range of applications from 60 to 150K with one design only. With the LPT6510 cryocooler, Thales meets the demand for high-performance cryocooling for space instruments, in alignment with Airbus’ strategy for affordable high-performance infrared instruments.

“We are proud to take part in this ambitious project with Airbus Defence and Space dedicated to the monitoring of climate change. Thales is again proving its capability to provide high performing and cost-effective cryocoolers for a demanding market,” commented Hein Druncks, Head of Cryogenics, Thales.