5 September 2014 Near specular scatter analysis method with a new goniophotometer
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Abstract
The challenge of improving component quality and reducing cost has focused the attention of the solar thermal power industry on reliable component characterization methods. Since the reflector plays a key role in the energy conversion chain, the analysis of its reflectance properties has become a lively discussed issue in recent years. State of the art measurement instruments for specular reflectance do not give satisfying results, because they do not resolve sufficiently the near specular scatter of possible low cost mirror material candidates. The measurement of the BRDF offers a better solution than the traditional approach of placing a detector in the specular reflected beam path. However, due to the requirement of high angular resolution in the range of 1 mrad (0.057°) or better and the challenge of measuring high dynamic differences between the specular peak and the scatter signal, typical commercial scanning goniophotometers capable of this are rare. These instruments also face the disadvantages of impractically long acquisition times and, to reach the high angular resolution, occupy a large space (several meters side length). We have taken on the appealing idea of a parallel imaging goniophotometer and designed a prototype based on this principle. A mirrored ellipsoid is used to redirect the reflected light coming from a sample towards a camera with a fisheye lens. This way the complete light distribution is captured simultaneously. A key feature allows the distinction of the high intensity specular peak and the low intensity scatter. In this article we explain the prototype design and demonstrate its functionality based on comparison measurements done with a commercial scanning goniophotometer. We identify limitations related in part to the concept and in part to the specific prototype and suggest improvements. Finally we conclude that the concept is well suitable for the analysis of near specular scatter of mirror materials, although less adequate for the analysis of rough surfaces that require a full 180° view angle. Results obtained with this instrument are useful to evaluate the performance of a reflector material for a specific concentrating solar collector design and also serve in other applications that require near specular scatter analysis like degradation and soiling research.
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Stephanie Meyen, Florian Sutter, Peter Heller, "Near specular scatter analysis method with a new goniophotometer", Proc. SPIE 9205, Reflection, Scattering, and Diffraction from Surfaces IV, 92050B (5 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061036; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2061036
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