Northrop Grumman’s cryocoolers offer high reliability for critical space missions, including missile defense, climate science, astronomy, and weather tracking and prediction.

Northrop Grumman’s pulse tube cryocoolers have operated on-orbit for more than 300 combined years, offering customers the peace of mind that comes with a long track record of success.

Our pulse tube cryocoolers operate without moving parts, often exceeding their designed lifespan many times over with no degradation in performance.

The James Webb Space Telescope sun shield

Supporting Complex Missions

Our cryocoolers support some of the most demanding and complex space missions on orbit, including NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The designs are scalable and can meet the needs of large-scale and robust spacecraft, and for smaller, more proliferated spacecraft designs.


Using its decades of experience, Northrop Grumman is now offering zero-maintenance cryocoolers for airborne and ground-based applications with the same reliability our space customers have learned to expect.


Our Scalable Design Offers:


  • More than10 years of continuous on-orbit operation.


  • High efficiency over a wide range of operating temperatures.


  • Four common compressor design sizes.
  • Designs offer cooling from 1.7 to 200 Kelvin.
  • Smallest two sizes applicable to tactical applications.

Low Vibration

  • Balanced mechanical design.
  • Active vibration cancellation included in TRL9 designs.

Simplified Integration

  • Standard design offers a single thermal/mechanical interface on the warm end.
  • Standard digital interfaces.


  • Single or multiple cooling loads.
  • Cooling interface local to the compressor, or remotely located. Split configuration.

Space Rated

  • Radiation-hardened electronics and instrumentation.

Best in Class Size, Weight, And Power (SWAP)

Cryocoolers Overview Datasheet

High-Efficiency Cryocoolers for Space

  • Northrop Grumman’s TRL 9 High-Efficiency Cryocooler (HEC) — unmatched legacy of success in space cryocoolers.
  • Space cryocooler system includes flight electronics and pulse tube cryocooler — all TRL 9.
  • High reliability designed in — no moving parts in the cold head and non-wearing compressor.
  • Pulse Tube design provides very low output vibration, so our cryocooler won’t interfere with your spacecraft’s most sensitive operations.
  • Electronics provide active vibration dampening, as well as temperature control.
  • High efficiency over a wide range of operating temperatures.
  • Low mass and single thermal and structural interface reduce system level cost.

Cryocoolers in the News

technicians dressed in a bunny suit working on a telescope

Northrop Grumman Enables James Webb Space Telescope’s Coldest Instrument to Reach Operational Temperature

man holding cryocooler

The Coolest Technology: Cryocoolers

Refrigeration Capacity: 2W @ 45 K
8W @ 77 K
23W @ 150 K
Compressor Input Power: Up to 180 W
Reliability: > 90% at 87,600 hours (10 years)
Environment: -40 C to -70 C
Exported Vibration: < 50 mN Drive Axis
< 200 mN Pulse Tube Axis
Mass (single stage): < 4.5 kg
Mass (electronics): < 3.8 kg

Contact Us
(310) 813-5158