Conformal Infrared Window with Structural and Distributed Aperture Capability for Airborne Platforms
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P. O. Box 278, Hopkinton, MA, 01748
AbstractFuture air vehicles (both military and commercial) will benefit from sensor windows that conform to the shape of the airframe. A critical factor limiting the placement of infrared transparencies in airborne platforms is the structural limitations that current window materials possess. Conformal windows made from materials with higher toughness and durability would have improved structural performance enabling placement in highly stressed, load bearing locations on airborne platforms. The challenge in selecting and processing these materials is to increase the fracture toughness, and hence the durability, with minimal effect on optical properties - high transmission and reduced scatter must be maintained. CeraNova's proposed approach involves the development and evaluation of ceramic oxide composites. We propose two composite systems: 1) alumina + spinel, and 2) alumina + diamond. Appropriate processing of nanopowders will result in composites with nanograined microstructures having high strength, high toughness, high transmission, and low scatter. CeraNova will build on its accumulated expertise in the areas of processing, shaping, evaluating and fabricating transparent polycrystalline ceramic oxides and composites to address the objectives of this program. BENEFIT: Successful completion of this program will result in new ceramic oxide nanocomposites possessing high strength and toughness, along with high transmission and low scattering in the MWIR. In addition, the knowledge and experience gained on powder processing, shape forming and testing of composite systems will help to broaden the application of transparent ceramics in load-bearing applications such as conformal windows on aircraft.
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