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Published August 1, 1995 | public
Journal Article Open

Emissivity measurements of reflective surfaces at near-millimeter wavelengths


We have developed an instrument for directly measuring the emissivity of reflective surfaces at near-millimeter wavelengths. The thermal emission of a test sample is compared with that of a reference surface, allowing the emissivity of the sample to be determined without heating. The emissivity of the reference surface is determined by one's heating the reference surface and measuring the increase in emission. The instrument has an absolute accuracy of Δe = 5 x 10^-4 and can reproducibly measure a difference in emissivity as small as Δe = 10^-4 between flat reflective samples. We have used the instrument to measure the emissivity of metal films evaporated on glass and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic composite surfaces. We measure an emissivity of (2.15 ± 0.4) x 10^-3 for gold evaporated on glass and (2.65 ± 0.5) x 10^-3 for aluminum evaporated on carbon fiber-reinforced plastic composite.

Additional Information

© 1995 Optical Society of America Received 31 October 1994; revised manuscript received 24 January 1995. The authors thank Sylvia Li for work with the instrument and acknowledge helpful conversations with Dave Cottingham and Paul Richards. This research was supported in part by the NASA graduate student research program fellowship NGT-50771.


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