A compact dual-crystal modulated birefringence-measurement system for microgravity applications

Date of Original Version




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© 1999 IOP Publishing Ltd

Abstract or Description

A compact modulated birefringence-measurement system has been developed for use in microgravity fluid physics applications with non-Newtonian fluids such as polymer solutions. This instrument uses a dual-crystal transverse electro-optical modulator capable of modulation frequencies in excess of 100 MHz. The two crystals are modulated 180° out of phase from each other. The theoretical framework governing the development of this instrument using the Mueller–Stokes polarization matrices is discussed. Several ground-based experiments are performed to compare this system with the theoretical results. Results from this transverse electro-optical modulator-based birefringence-measurement system agree well with the theory. The instrument is also very stable and robust, making it suitable for the extreme acceleration environment to be encountered in a NASA Black Brandt sounding rocket.



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Published In

Meas. Sci. Technol, 10, 946-955.