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STAR facility enables sample measurements without breaking vacuum
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- Title STAR facility enables sample measurements without breaking vacuum
- Released 09/05/2011 4:35 pm
- Copyright ESA
The Synergistic Temperature Accelerated Radiation (STAR) facility is the most complex space simulation facility in ESTEC's Materials and Electrical Components Laboratories.
Its main function is to expose multiple samples simultaneously to different radiation sources (UV-light, deep VUV-light, particle radiation) while also measuring the solar reflection properties of the exposed samples without breaking the vacuum. The measurement head, an integrating sphere for determining optical reflectance properties, is attached inside the vacuum-chamber of the facility.
In principle, the STAR facility can be divided into two vacuum-chambers. One chamber contains all the radiation sources including a cooled liquid nitrogen shroud and a cooling/heating stage for the test-specimens.
The second chamber acts as a loading bay for the test-samples without breaking the vacuum of the other chamber. In addition, this chamber contains the accessories to perform the solar reflection measurements.
Both vacuum-chambers can communicate together via a valve and a sample transfer mechanism enabling the transport of samples from one chamber to another.