Service des Basses Temperatures
The cryogenic engineering departement (Service des Basses Temperatures or SBT) is a joint CEA-UGA research laboratory. It is one of the 5 laboratories of the Institute for NanoScience and Cryogenics (INAC), which is part of the fundamental research division of CEA.
The activities of SBT are structured around three pillars: helium cryogenics, hydrogen cryogenics and cryocoolers and space cryogenics.
SBT's general objective is to carry outstanding technological developments, and to provide expertise and prototypes for national and international projects where cryogenics is a key issue. The laboratory is a leading R&D performer.
SBT develops innovative solutions over a wide spectrum of realization that covers sub-kelvin and cooling powers of fraction of microwatts, to multi-kilowatts at liquid helium temperatures.
A specificity of SBT is its ability to carry out projects from basic research phase (TRL 0) up to technological maturities extending to TRL 9.
SBT continues to explore new fields in cryogenics and propose innovative technologies in areas such as turbulence physics, cryogenic target production or space-borne cryocoolers, to name a few.
The laser Mega Joule (LMJ) program has lead to the successful development of several challenging cryostats to produce and handle cryogenic targets, and more recently this know-how has triggered the emergence of a new activity for the production of hydrogen targets for health application (proton therapy) for instance.
To address the requirements for large cryogenic plants able to cope with the variable heat loads in the future fusion reactor such as JT-60SA or ITER, SBT has proposed and validated smoothing methods that will be implemented in these projects.
In the field of space cryogenics SBT has acquired international recognition for its involvement in the Herschel mission, the largest space telescope ever flown and for the development of the pulse tube coolers for the next generation weather satellite Meteosat 3G and earth observation CSO satellites. These heritages and constant developments have positioned SBT as a reference in the space cryogenics community and notably for the future European large X-Rays mission ATHENA.