Cryogenic environment
cryogenic environments heat flux sensor

Heat flux measurement performed in cryogenic environment evaluation

This short review describes how heat flux sensing technologies can be employed to evaluate cryogenic environment for a broad range of research and industrial applications. It will allow the reader to gain a deeper understanding about how heat flux can be measured at cryogenic temperatures.

About the importance of measuring heat fluxes in cryogenic environments

Measuring thermal energy transfer at temperatures below -150°C becomes increasingly important in many research or industrial fields of application such as:

  • Scientific instruments
  • Insulation properties of liquid nitrogen tanks
  • High precision industrial fabrication equipment
  • Experiments in outer space

Standards Heat flux sensors show drastically reduced sensitivity at cryogenic temperatures. Up to now, there were no sensors available on the market for applications in such extreme environments. greenTEG developed a heat flux sensor based on a new material, which still has up to 30% of its room temperature sensitivity when being used at cryogenic temperatures.

thermal sensitivity in cryogenic environment

The sensor itself is very stable against thermomechanical stress. No sensitivity changes were observed after the highly accelerated stress-aging test during which the sensor was alternated 12 times from 80°C water to liquid nitrogen of -196 °C and back.

How to evaluate cryogenic conditions with gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor

Live demonstration of Heat flux sensing capabilities in cryogenic conditions

greenTEG’s heat flux sensing technology can withstand “space-like” or cryogenic conditions!

Discover the full potential of gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensors in the detailed case study available here!

Example of the use of gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor in cryogenic environment

In May 2020, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the HTV-9 vehicle, and unmanned cargo ship resupplying the International Space Station.

Simultaneously, the ship included several experiments that will help develop the features for the next generation of space cargo ship launched from Japan. The HTV-9 mounted several of greenTEG’s gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor to measure the HTV propulsion system’s influence on the vehicle’s whole structure. Our sensors were selected because of their unique features and robustness, capable of withstanding outer space conditions.

cryogenic environments heat flux sensor
Detail of the experimental setup using greenTEG’s sensors on the HTV-9 space cargo ship. Sensors are marked with red circles (Photo credit: JAXA)
cryogenic environments heat flux sensor
The unmanned cargo ship approaching the robotic arm of the ISS. The camera for the experiment, including the heat flux sensors, is marked with a red circle. Image credit: NASA
cryogenic environments heat flux sensor
The HTV-9 docked to the International Space Station (Photo credit: NASA). 

Advantages of using gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor for cryogenic environment testing

gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor is suited to evaluate the cryogenic conditions in your system:

  • Miniature & compact heat flux sensor
  • Highly sensitive sensor
  • Facilitated integration into the application setups
  • Non-invasive measurement technique for determining fouling
  • Flexible, easy to mount on pipes and boilers

More R&D Uses Cases where the gSKIN® Heat Flux Sensor is employed are available here.