Black Laser Surface Treatment – Material Ageing

Co-funded by:

European Space Agency (ESA)

Duration: Jan 2021 - Dec 2023

Fraunhofer HHI in space - starting in December 2022, samples from Fraunhofer HHI, department Fiber Optical Sensor Systems will orbit the Earth 16 times a day. The samples will be attached to the front of the International Space Station (ISS) and exposed to the conditions of space (temperatures, radiation, particles, atomic oxygen). The goal of the project, which is being conducted jointly with Azimut Space GmbH, is to demonstrate the stability and resilience of laser-structured surfaces under the harsh conditions of space. The project is being carried out by ESA and samples from Fraunhofer HHI have been selected as a promising candidate for the Euro Material Ageing program. In this project, laser patterning increases the thermal emissivity of the samples from 10-20% of pure metals to >95%. Thermal emission is the only way to dissipate heat in space. Power electronics in particular, but also rocket nozzles and other components can quickly overheat in space and highly emissive surfaces have numerous applications. In addition to the high emissivity, light absorption of the structured surfaces in the visible range is an advantage. Of particular note is the aspect that the increased emissivity is caused by physical surface processes. The applicable temperature range of treated surfaces is identical to that of the untreated workpiece, and time-consuming approval processes can be shortened.