Three samples of Schott Zerodur were recently measured using Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Cryogenic Dilatometer Facility. The initial purpose of these tests was to provide precision CTE measurements to help correlate thermomechanical models with the actual performance of NASA's Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) TOM-1C testbed. A total of six Zerodur test samples, as well as the SIM testbed mirror were machined from the same block of glass. Thermal strain as a function of time, sample temperature, and cooling rate were measured over a temperature range of 270K to 310K. Presented in this paper is a discussion of the sample configuration, test facilities, test method, data analysis, test results, and future plans.
Linear thermal expansion measurements of nine samples of Lead Magnesium Niobate (PMN) electroceramic material were recently performed in support of NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder Coronagraph (TPF-C) mission. The TPF-C mission is a visible light coronagraph designed to look at roughly 50 stars pre-selected as good candidates for possessing earth-like planets. Upon detection of an earth-like planet, TPF-C will analyze the visible-light signature of the planet's atmosphere for specific spectroscopic indicators that life may exist there. With this focus, the project's primary interest in PMN material is for use as a solid-state actuator for deformable mirrors or compensating optics. The nine test samples were machined from three distinct boules of PMN ceramic manufactured by Xinetics Inc. Thermal expansion measurements were performed in 2005 at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in their Cryogenic Dilatometer Facility. All measurements were performed in vacuum with sample temperature actively controlled over the range of 270K to 310K. Expansion and contraction of the test samples with temperature was measured using a JPL-developed interferometric system capable of sub-nanometer accuracy. Presented in this paper is a discussion of the sample configuration, test facilities, test method, data analysis, test results, and future plans.
As part of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) materials working group, a novel cryogenic dilatometer was designed and built at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to help address stringent coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) knowledge requirements. Previously reported results and error analysis have estimated a CTE measurement accuracy for ULE of 1.7 ppb/K with a 20K thermal load and 0.1 ppb/K with a 280K thermal load. Presented here is a further discussion of the cryogenic dilatometer system and a description of recent work including system modifications and investigations.
The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be a 6-meter diameter segmented reflector that will be launched at room temperature and passively cooled to about 40 Kelvin at the L2 point. Because of the large thermal load, understanding the thermophysical properties of the mirror, secondary optics, and supporting structure materials is crucial to the design of an instrument that will provide diffraction limited performance at 2 microns. Once deployed, JWST will perform continuous science without wave front re-calibrations for durations ranging from one day to a month. Hence understanding of how small temperature fluctuations will impact the nanometric stability of the optical system through thermal expansion is required. As a result, the JWST materials testing team has designed and built a novel cryogenic dilatometer capable of coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) measurements of ULE accurate to ~ 1.6 and 0.1 ppb/K for a nominal CTE = 30 ppb/K and 20 and 280 K thermal loads, respectively. The dilatometer will be used to measure the CTE of samples from JWST primary mirror prototypes, local CTE variations from multiple locations on a prototype mirror, CTE variations from batch to batch of the same material, and thermal and mechanical creep measurements from room temperature down to 30 K.