Parachute Sample Changer
14 Sep 2016



The parachute sample changer utilises a robotic arm and samples attached to 3D printed parachutes to quickly cycle through large numbers of samples, which can be up to 40mm in length and 6.4mm in diameter.

Parachute Sample Holder

​​Parachute Sample Holder ​


The samples, attached to the parachutes, are placed into a modified cryostat by the robotic arm where they descend and make an electrical contact, allowing for accurate temperature readings by sensors on the sample holder itself.

When measurements in the beam have been completed, that sample is ejected up via pressurised helium gas at 2 bar to the top of the cryostat where it is then automatically retrieved by the robotic arm. The robotic arm then returns the used sample and proceeds to insert the next sample to be tested into the cryostat.

This arrangement allows for a quick turnaround of samples as the cryostat can be kept cold and the sample will typically cool to below 10k in around 15 minutes. This saves the long time needed to warm and then re-cool the entire cryostat as when traditional centre sticks are used.

Videos of the parachute sample changer can be found here.