Manufacturing & Prototyping

Multi-Layer Far- Infrared Component Technology

A method has been developed for fabricating high-reflectivity, multi-layer optical films for the terahertz wavelength region. A silicon mirror with 99.997-percent reflectivity at 70 μm wavelength requires an air gap of 17.50 μm, and a silicon thickness of 5.12 μm. This approach obtains pre-thinned wafers of about 20 mm thickness in order to measure their thickness precisely. A gold annulus of appropriate thickness is deposited to reach the required total thickness. This, in turn, has the central aperture etched down to the desired final silicon thickness. Also, the novel Bragg stack optics in this innovation are key to providing Fabry-Perot spectroscopy and improved spectral component technologies of unprecedented resolution, free spectral range, and aperture.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Glovebox for GeoLab Subsystem in HDU1-PEM

The semiconductor, biotechnology, and nuclear industries may have potential use for these gloveboxes. The GeoLab glovebox was designed to enable the preliminary examination, by astronauts, of geological samples collected from the surface of another planetary body. The collected information would then aid scientists in making decisions about sample curation and prioritization for return to Earth for study. This innovation was designed around a positive-pressureenriched nitrogen environment glovebox to reduce sample handling contamination. The structure was custom-designed to fit in section H of NASA’s Habitat Demonstration Unit 1 Pressurized Excursion Module (HDU1-PEM). In addition, the glovebox was designed to host analytical instruments in a way that prevents sample contamination.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Modified Process Reduces Porosity When Soldering in Reduced Gravity Environments

A modified process yields lower levels of internal porosity for solder joints produced in reduced-gravity environments. The process incorporates both alternative materials and a modified procedure. The process provides the necessary cleaning action to enable effective bonding of the applied solder alloy with the materials to be joined.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Optical Manufacturing Guidelines for Medical OEMs

With careful planning, system integrators can select the optimal optics, filters, light sources, and cameras for their medical diagnostic instrumentation. Custom integration of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products can be complex, particularly for medical device integrators that build diagnostic instruments incorporating numerous optical components. Often, objective lenses, illumination sources, and imaging detectors are assembled and custom-mounted into finished instruments. Such components must not only meet stringent performance requirements, but often have to meet established Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards.

Posted in: Bio-Medical, Photonics, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Medical, Briefs, MDB

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Fabrication of a Kilopixel Array of Superconducting Microcalorimeters With Microstripline Wiring

A document describes the fabrication of a two-dimensional microcalorimeter array that uses microstrip wiring and integrated heat sinking to enable use of high-performance pixel designs at kilo - pixel scales (32×32). Each pixel is the high-resolution design employed in small-array test devices, which consist of a Mo/Au TES (transition edge sensor) on a silicon nitride membrane and an electroplated Bi/Au absorber. The pixel pitch within the array is 300 microns, where absorbers 290 microns on a side are cantilevered over a silicon support grid with 100-micron-wide beams. The high-density wiring and heat sinking are both carried by the silicon beams to the edge of the array. All pixels are wired out to the array edge.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs, TSP

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Improvements in Cold-Plate Fabrication

Improvements in fabrication, cooling fluid, structural parts, and components reduce weight, fabrication steps, and costs. Five improvements are reported in cold-plate fabrication. This cold plate is part of a thermal control system designed to serve on space missions.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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Self-Healing, Inflatable, Rigidizable Shelter

Military applications include self-sealing fuel tanks on vehicles or aircraft. Commercial applications include leak protection systems for railroad tank cars or tanker trucks carrying hazardous materials. Any manned missions to extraterrestrial locations will require shelter structures for a variety of purposes ranging from habitat to biomass production. Such shelters need to be constructed in such a way as to minimize stowed volume and payload weight. The structures must also be very durable and have the ability to survive punctures without collapsing. Ways of increasing available crew-load volume without greatly increasing launch weight or volume are also sought.

Posted in: Manufacturing & Prototyping, Briefs

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