Improving Precision of CTE Measurements for Space Structure Materials
Precision CTE measurement capability was developed by Southern Research for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) over a decade ago. The approach resulted in single digit nanometer displacement resolution and accuracies that approached 10 ppb on cryogenic tests that were chilled by commercial cryocoolers. The process was industrialized by ATK San Diego and used to test over 6000 samples from room temperature to as cold as 20 Kelvin. Now the next generation of space telescopes are involved in feasibility studies and detection of exoplanets and other science goals is expected to require optical systems with picometer class resolution. New mission concepts do not require performance at cryogenic temperatures as extreme as JWST but need improved resolution and accuracy on material thermal stability measurements of around two orders of magnitude. In response to that need, Southern Research is now developing CTE testing capability with increased displacement resolution and a thermoelectric based temperature control system that will provide a mechanically stable environment and dilatometry accuracy to significantly push the state of the art towards sub parts-per-billion CTE accuracy. A review of the approach along with introductory results will be presented.
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James Tucker (POC,Primary Presenter), . , email@example.com;