DLA awards $150,000 contract for cryogenic coolers for night vision gear

Cobham cryogenic cooler The Defense Logistics Agency has awarded a contract worth nearly $150,000 to Carleton Life Support Systems Inc., of Davenport, IA, to supply cryogenic coolers that can lower the temperature of night vision equipment.

Carelton Life does business as Cobham Mission Systems, according to an award notification published on April 17.

“As a result of decades of experience as manufacturers of precision instruments and gas handling devices, Cobham has quickly emerged as a leader in the development and manufacture of miniature cryogenic coolers for infrared thermal imaging systems for tactical military products,” says the company on its own Web site. “The application for Cobham’s cryocoolers range from ground based portable infrared night sights to advanced airborne targeting and countermeasure systems.”

The contract, which will be performed at Aberedeen Proving Ground in Maryland, will take the form of a firm fixed price purchase order.

“These coolers enable the technology that allow soldiers to ‘see’ and identify persons or objects in total darkness as well as through smoke, dust, fog or clouds,” the Cobham Web site explains. “The cooler cools an infrared sensor to cryogenic temperatures (approx. minus 195 degrees Celsius) providing the sensitivity to detect heat sources, and provides an identifiable image of the person or object to the soldier. Cobham’s coolers have been designed to be exceptionally quiet, smooth running and exhibit long life.”

Further information is available from Kenneth Acquaviva, of the DLA, at 443-861-4525.