Tech Briefs

Aligning Optical Fibers by Means of Actuated MEMS Wedges

Wedges would be fabricated using gray-scale exposure of photoresist. Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) of a proposed type would be designed and fabricated to effect lateral and vertical alignment of optical fibers with respect to optical, electro-optical, optoelectronic, and/or photonic devices on integrated circuit chips and similar monolithic device structures. A MEMS device of this type would consist of a pair of oppositely sloped alignment wedges attached to linear actuators that would translate the wedges in the plane of a substrate, causing an optical fiber in contact with the sloping wedge surfaces to undergo various displacements parallel and perpendicular to the plane. In making it possible to accurately align optical fibers individually during the packaging stages of fabrication of the affected devices, this MEMS device would also make it possible to relax tolerances in other stages of fabrication, thereby potentially reducing costs and increasing yields.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

Read More >>

Optical Characterization of Molecular Contaminant Films

A theoretical model is correlated with measured spectral transmittances and VUV exposures of spacecraft optics. Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas A semi-empirical method of optical characterization of thin contaminant films on surfaces of optical components has been conceived. The method was originally intended for application to films that become photochemically deposited on such optical components as science windows, lenses, prisms, thin-film radiators, and glass solar-cell covers aboard spacecraft and satellites in orbit. The method should also be applicable, with suitable modifications, to thin optical films (whether deposited deliberately or formed as contaminants) on optical components used on Earth in the computer microchip laser communications and thin-film industries.

Posted in: Photonics, Briefs, ptb catchall, Tech Briefs, Photonics

Read More >>

Reactive Additives for Phenylethynyl-Containing Resins

Processability is improved. Phenylethynyl containing reactive additive (PERA) compounds and mixtures have been found to be useful for improving the processability of oligomers, polymers, cooligomers, and copolymers that contain phenylethynyl groups. The additives can be incorporated in different forms:

Posted in: Briefs

Read More >>

Multicomponent, Rare-Earth-Doped Thermal-Barrier Coatings

Thermal conductivities are reduced while maximum use temperatures are increased. Multicomponent, rare-earth-doped, perovskite-type thermal-barrier coating materials have been developed in an effort to obtain lower thermal conductivity, greater phase stability, and greater high-temperature capability, relative to those of the prior thermal-barrier coating material of choice, which is yttriapartially stabilized zirconia. As used here, “thermal-barrier coatings” (TBCs) denotes thin ceramic layers used to insulate air-cooled metallic components of heat engines (e.g., gas turbines) from hot gases. These layers are generally fabricated by plasma spraying or physical vapor deposition of the TBC materials onto the metal components.

Posted in: Briefs

Read More >>

Development of Carbon-Nanotube/Polymer Composites

A report presents a short discussion of one company’s effort to develop composites of carbon nanotubes in epoxy and other polymer matrices.

Posted in: Briefs

Read More >>

Modifications of a Composite-Material Combustion Chamber

Two short reports discuss modifications of a small, lightweight combustion chamber that comprises a carbon/carbon composite outer shell and an iridium/rhenium inner liner. The first report discusses chamber design modifications made as results of hot-fire tests and post-test characterization. The modifications were intended to serve a variety of purposes, including improving fabrication, reducing thermal-expansion mismatch stresses, increasing strength-to-weight ratios of some components, and improving cooling of some components. The second report discusses (1) the origin of stress in the mismatch between the thermal expansions of the Ir/Re liner and a niobium sleeve and flange attached to the carbon/carbon shell and (2) a modification intended to relieve the stress. The modification involves the redesign of an inlet connection to incorporate a compressible seal between the Ir/Re liner and the Nb flange. A nickel alloy was selected as the seal material on the basis of its thermal-expansion properties and its ability to withstand the anticipated stresses, including the greatest stresses caused by the high temperatures to be used in brazing during fabrication.

Posted in: Briefs

Read More >>

Multifunctional Deployment Hinges Rigidified by Ultraviolet

These hinges provide both structural support and electrical connections.

Posted in: Briefs, TSP

Read More >>