A joint design between Belgium’s QinetiQ Space and Germany’s EADS-Astrium (Friedrischaffen) for ESA, CIMEX is expected to be used on-board the International Space Station (ISS), where it will be embedded inside the Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL), a permanently active European facility dedicated to fluid physics inside the Columbus European Module.
The scientific purpose of the project consists in studying heat transfers through the observation of
controlled evaporation processes present at a liquid-gas interface.
Lambda-X is in charge of the optical sub-system design, manufacturing and tests, including the tomographic reconstruction software and development of the optical ground support equipment simulating the FSL optical system.
The optical sub-system embeds three crucial diagnostics: first, an infrared imager of the liquid surface, second, a Schlieren deflectometer used to control the liquid-gas interface flatness in a closed-loop fashion and third, a 6-views optical laser interferometry-based tomograph. The whole is combined in a very compact assembly that will be optically interfaced to the FSL optical diagnostics.
Lambda-X also supplies QinetiQ Space for the experimental cell glass section of the Cimex project. This dodecagonal glass cell boasts extreme alignment specifications, as the glass must be distributed with 30° +/-12arcmin in between each side with a front-to-front glass alignment under 18 arcsec. This was manufactured through the controlled gluing of twelve high-spec glass blocks.
On-going: Lambda-X currently focuses on completing the Engineering Model.