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In-Situ Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) Measurement System for Spacecraft Materials Testing


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Space Technology The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: Develop a high spatial resolution, multi-spectral bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) measurement system for evaluating spacecraft material responses to a simulated space environment. DESCRIPTION: BRDF is a critical parameter for space situation awareness and signature modeling, especially since the optical properties of spacecraft materials change on orbit due to the deleterious effects of the space environment. Test facilities exist that can evaluate these changes in a simulated space environment, but they lack the capability to measure the changes in material BRDF in-situ while the materials are installed in the facility. A complete BRDF system is required that can be integrated in a cryogenic vacuum chamber that can measure multiple materials of varying composition and surface finish. The system can be vacuum compatible, residing in the chamber, or be installed outside the chamber, using provided windows as optical interfaces. The ideal system would also be able to resolve a 1 cm2 area at multiple wavelengths in the visible and infrared wavelengths. Several systems exist in the chamber to help facilitate measurements. The chamber walls are designed for low infrared reflection and emission. Reference samples can be installed in a manner that shields them from the simulated space environment. Visible and infrared transmitting windows are available for optical interface. BRDF measurements will be conducted such that there is no interference from other sources or diagnostics in the chamber. PHASE I: Demonstrate a proof of concept system that can measure BRDF at one visible and one short wave infrared (SWIR) wavelength. The system should include an appropriate light source. The system should be able to perform the measurement at a distance of at least one meter from the measurement surface and resolve an area of 2 cm^2. Methods to integrate the system to a vacuum chamber should be considered. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate a prototype measurement system that can measure BRDF at least two visible and two SWIR wavelengths. The system should include an appropriate light source. The system should be able to perform the measurement at a distance range of two to three meters from the sample surface and resolve an area of 1 cm^2. The system should be integrated to a vacuum chamber for the demonstration. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government. Military applications could include population of space situational awareness materials databases and signature models, measurement of aircraft paints and coatings. Commercial applications could include measurement of components for solar power devices, or BRDF data for 3D computer modeling of objects. REFERENCES: 1. Karner, Konrad F., Heinz Mayer, and Michael Gervautz. "An image based measurement system for anisotropic reflection." Computer Graphics Forum. Vol. 15. No. 3. Blackwell Science Ltd, 1996.; \ 2. Marschner, Stephen R., et al. "Image-based bidirectional reflectance distribution function measurement." Applied Optics 39.16 (2000): 2592-2600.; 3. Bédard, Donald, Gregg A. Wade, and Kira Abercromby. "Laboratory characterization of homogeneous spacecraft materials." Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 52.4 (2015): 1038-1056.; 4. Hostetler, J., Cowardin, H. “Experimentally-Derived Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function Data in Support of the Orbital Debris Program Office.” 2019 Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference (AMOS).; 5. Arnold Engineering Development Complex Test Capabilities Guide, “Space Test Branch”, pg. 8-10, KEYWORDS: Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function; Spacecraft; Space Environment; Space Simulation; BRDF
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