IR Detection and Cryostat Resources and Technical Papers

It all began with a bolometer.

Dr. Frank Low’s invention of the Ga-doped Ge Bolometer in 1961 earned him a reputation for being the “Father of Infrared Astronomy.” Six years later, he founded Infrared Laboratories, Inc., which quickly became nicknamed IRLabs. (We made the name switch official in 2023.)

Our name has become synonymous with IR detection and cryogen cooling solutions.
When it comes to outfitting a cryogen laboratory with a cutting-edge cryostat or overcoming a difficult instrumentation issue, science and industry turn to us. Since 1967, IRLabs has been providing solutions for researchers in astronomy, physics, chemistry, aerospace and, most recently, quantum computing.

We can customize standard equipment–dewars, bolometers, cryostats, cryocoolers–and excel at collaborating with clients to meet the specific specifications needed for their work. Our custom research and test cryostat capabilities include LN2, LHe, closed-cycle and cryogen-free cooling systems.

For IRLabs, solving instrumentation problems might mean:

  • Working with scientists at NASA on proof of concept for the Ice Giants Net Flux Radiometer (NFR) instrument, which measures net flux by measuring background optical radiation in seven spectral bands as it descends into the atmospheres of Neptune and/or Uranus. We designed an array of Winston cones to measure the energy flux in all seven spectral channels.
  • Collaborating with German researchers on a project to measure atomic oxygen in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, for which we solved the problem of temperature fluctuations and pressure changes on seals during the HEMERA balloon’s ascent and descent.
  • Building a new cryogen-free, closed-cycle cryostat, including a large, 140-liter vacuum enclosure for the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GRANCAIN) while staying within budget.
  • Using our engineering expertise and manufacturing capabilities to rebuild a lightning-damaged camera for Kagoshima University’s observatory in Japan.

IRLabs Standard Cryogen Resources

Whether you need a heat switch or an entire cryostat system, IRLabs will work with you to make sure you get the best and most cost-effective solution for your needs.

If your project requires a customized solution for a perplexing problem, IRLabs is uniquely positioned to collaborate with you to solve it. With almost six decades of experience, IRLabs has produced over four thousand open and closed-cycle systems for customers worldwide.

Although we can design and fabricate custom cryogenic systems of nearly any size, our standard dewar packages can be used as a baseline to reduce cost and program schedule. Browse our resources and contact us to begin the process of creating a solution to suit your needs.


Blackbody Calculator

Bolometers Brochure


Cryo-free Bolometer

Cryogenic Solutions

Winston Cones

IREM-IV Brochure