Retrieved September 2009 by the crew of NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour, ORMatE-1 is a passive study of optically reflective materials with a focus on silicon carbide (SiC) for use as a lightweight mirror substrate. Various types of SiC ceramics, as well as various coating materials and cladding deposition technologies are also tested in the experiment.
"Lightweight, high precision mirrors are critical for enhanced optical systems and advanced communication systems currently being designed and tested," said Robert Walters, Ph.D., head of NRL's Solid State Devices Branch. "The effects of different optical polishing methods are investigated to determine if the different processes result in varying resistance to radiation exposure for future space-based applications."
ORMatE-1 provides a platform to expose new materials to the harsh environment of space and to generate on-orbit performance data to support space qualification of specific materials. The experiments are housed within the Passive Experiment Container (PEC), a roughly two-foot by two-foot metal box, and affixed to the ISS. After an exposed period of one to two years, the PEC is closed and recovered by an astronaut for return to Earth for post-flight evaluation.
In addition to SiC material testing, NRL scientists will conduct post-flight analysis of other advanced glass substrate materials including ultra-low expansion (ULE) and corrugated borosilicate, multiple coating and traditional substrate combinations and a novel mirror design consisting of a composite sandwich structure of molded borosilicate used to evaluate structural integrity and optical performance. ORMatE-1 will help quantify effects on optical and mechanical properties as a result of radiation, micrometeor pitting and compaction, which can change the radius curvature of components. Research will also assist in determining the effects of degassing of dense and porous materials as a result of going from ambient to vacuum conditions, ultra-violet (UV) and atomic oxygen exposure.
ORMatE-1 is conducted as a scientific research partnership with The Aerospace Corporation, Naval Research Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials Directorate (AFRL/ML) and is part of NASA's Materials on the International Space Station Experiment (MISSE), a Langley Research Center (LaRC) program designed to provide rapid access to space for materials and device exposure tests via the ISS.
The Naval Research Laboratory is the Department of the Navy's corporate laboratory. NRL conducts a broad program of scientific research, technology, and advanced development. The Laboratory, with a total complement of nearly 2,500 personnel, is located in southwest Washington, DC, with other major sites at the Stennis Space Center, MS; and Monterey, CA.
Daniel Parry | EurekAlert!
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The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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