Development of New Processes for the Refurbishment of Infrared Search and Track (IRST) Germanium (Ge) Domes
Surmet is developing processes to evaluate the environmental damage to Ge IRST domes, and then refurbish those that can be fixed, at a fraction of the purchase price. These processes are predicated on Surmet"s ability to strip the DLC from current domes, and subsequently deposit thick durable coatings which effectively repair the environmentally damaged surfaces with a minimum of fabrication required. The fundamentals of these processes were demonstrated during the Phase I effort, and will now be expanded and scaled up as a part of the proposed Phase I option and Phase II programs. This will include the establishment/documentation of a process to evaluate these domes, and then categorize them based upon the extent of damage and type of refurbishment required. At the conclusion of the effort, the evaluation and refurbishment processes themselves will be summarize and documented, and then demonstrated on an actual IRST dome provided to Surmet by its government contract monitor. This could then be followed up with a Phase III effort, in which Surmet would establish a manufacturing capability for refurbishing damaged domes from the field at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new ones.
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