Preface

The core material of this book derives from work under contract* to the United States’ European Office of Aerospace Research and Development (EOARD). In the circumstances it is appropriate to cite the disclaimer prescribed by the funding body for publications arising:

Opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of EOARD, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Air Force Research Laboratory.

A contractual aim was ‘to raise the threshold from which the thermodynamic design of the Stirling cycle cooler starts’. A goal which, at face value was ambitious – if not presumptuous – will be put into context in the text.

It is evident from the main title of this re-structured account that the original focus has shifted: cryo-coolers in both categories of current commercial interest are studied, pulse-tubes perhaps to greater depth than Stirling.

The route originally foreseen to ‘raising the threshold’ paralleled the author’s 1997 text The Regenerator and the Stirling Engine, where a cornerstone had been dynamic similarity. This powerful concept had allowed construction of charts correlating gas path specifications and operating conditions with measured performance of a number of well-documented Stirling prime movers. These, in turn, had generated a practical and accessible tool for thermodynamic design – gas path scaling. As a condition of embarking on the new study, assurances were secured ...

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