A compact color schlieren system designed for field measurement of materials processing parameters has been built and tested in a microgravity environment. Improvements in the color filter design and a compact optical arrangement allowed the system described here to retain the traditional advantages of schlieren, such as simplicity, sensitivity, and ease of data interpretation. Testing was accomplished by successfully flying the instrument on a series of parabolic trajectories on the NASA KC-135 microgravity simulation aircraft. A variety of samples of interest in materials processing were examined. Although the present system was designed for aircraft use, the technique is well suited to space flight experimentation. A major goal of this effort was to accommodate the main optical system within a volume approximately equal to that of a Space Shuttle middeck locker. Future plans include the development of an automated space-qualified facility for use on the Shuttle and Space Station.
Wade M. Poteet,
Robert B. Owen,
"Compact Field Color Schlieren System For Use In Microgravity Materials Processing," Optical Engineering 25(7), 257841 (1 July 1986). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7973917