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Evaluation of light transmission and distribution materials for Lunar and Martian bioregenerative life support

Evaluation of light transmission and distribution materials for Lunar and Martian bioregenerative life support

Life Support and Biosphere Science 5(4): 389-402

The materials that were selected and evaluated in this study in the context of bioregenerative advanced life support included polymer optical cables, for transmission of photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and light pipe, woven optical pad and light-emitting fiber (LEF) for PPF distribution. All materials exhibited significant fidelity in transmitting the spectral characteristics of the artificial lluminator's Xenon-Metal Halide lamp. The PPF attenuation values for the polymer cables EL-200, EL-300, EL-400, and EL-500 were not significantly distinguishable from one another nor from that of the fused-silica cable of 0.34 dB/m. With the exception of EL-100 and EL-700, which had significantly lower PPF transmission efficiencies of 54.9%/m and 66.6%/m, respectively, all the other polymer cables had PPF transmission efficiencies of over 85%/m which, except for EL-300, were not significantly different from one another nor from that of the fused-silica cable of 93.2%/m. The highest PPF output efficiency achieved for the 7.1-cm light pipe 14.7%, for its maximum pipe length of 100 cm. At a constant pipe length of 50 cm, the PPF output efficiency of the 10-cm light pipe of 0.71% was significantly lower than that of the 7.1-cm light pipe of 10.54%. The PPF output for the woven optical pad was determined to be 36.3%. The PPF output efficiency for the LEF without the optic fastener was determined to be 27.1%, whereas that for the LEF with the optic fastener was 50.3%, that is, the maximum value of PPF output efficiency in the study. The polymer optical cables, light pipe, woven optical pad, and LEF exhibited significant regularity and symmetry in their PPF output spatial distributions.

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Accession: 046010974

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PMID: 11871446

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