In a developmental technique of real-time adjacent-pair imaging shearography, a thin film of bacteriorhodopsin is used to record shearograms in argon-laser light for immediate readout in helium/neon-laser light. Unlike conventional silver-halide-based photographic film, bacteriorhodopsin can be used as a real-time recording medium because it yields an image immediately upon exposure and is optically erasable. Bacteriorhodopsin also offers the advantage of resolution as high as 5,000 lines/mm — comparable to the resolutions of silver-halide-based films and much greater than the 80 lines/mm typical of the charge-coupled-device video cameras used heretofore in real-time shearography. Issues to be addressed in subsequent development include the difficulty of recording over a previously recorded image at the recording wavelength, the need for Fourier-transform optics for readout, the need to optimize the optics to realize the full potential for high resolution, and the relative insensitivity of bacteriorhodopsin film (about a tenth of that of silver-halide-based film).
This work was done by Colleen Fitzpatrick of Rice Systems, Inc., for Kennedy Space Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com under the Physical Sciences category, or circle no. 161 on the TSP Order Card in this issue to receive a copy by mail ($5 charge).
In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:
Rice Systems, Inc.
1150 Main Street, Suite C
Irvine, CA 92614
Refer to KSC-11838, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.