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One of the greatest challenges in the use of infrared windows and domes is to protect them from damage by particle impact. Collisions with raindrops are a problem at the velocities of airplanes and missiles. Figure 7.1 shows the damage to a missile dome after traversing a rainfield on the rocket sled in Fig. 7.2. Bug impacts at high speed can also damage infrared windows (Fig. 7.3) Blowing sand is harmful in high or low speed collisions. This chapter describes the effects of rain and sand impact, discusses laboratory erosion tests, and reviews work on coatings used to improve window durability.
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