Optical Metrology & Manufacturing
Heat transfers through the observation of controlled evaporation processes present at a liquid-gas interface.
Developed with Belgium’s QinetiQ Space and Germany’s EADS-Astrium (Friedrischaffen) for ESA, CIMEX was designed to be used on-board the International Space Station (ISS), to be embedded inside the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL), a European facility dedicated to fluid physics inside the Columbus European Module.
The scientific purpose of the project consisted in studying heat transfers through the observation of controlled evaporation processes present at a liquid-gas interface.
Lambda-X was in charge of the optical sub-system design, manufacturing and tests, including the tomographic reconstruction software and development of the optical ground support equipment simulating the FSL optical system.
The optical sub-system embedded three crucial diagnostics: first, an infrared imager of the liquid surface, second, a Schlieren deflectometer used to control the liquid-gas interface flatness in a closed-loop fashion and third, a 6-views optical laser interferometry-based tomograph. The whole was combined in a very compact assembly optically interfaced to the FSL optical diagnostics.
Lambda-X also supplied QinetiQ Space for the experimental cell glass section of the Cimex project. This dodecagonal glass cell boasted extreme alignment specifications, as the glass had to be distributed with 30° +/-12arcmin in between each side with a front-to-front glass alignment under 18 arcsec. This was manufactured through the controlled gluing of twelve high-spec glass blocks.