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RFoF Environmental test

Submitter: Lesley Goudbeek
Description: Over the years ASTRON developed and produced many instruments, tools and components. Many of these start their life on a lab-bench at ASTRON. Life on a lab-bench is relaxed (minus some probing with an oscilloscope) and the environmental conditions are very stable. An important step in the development process is to make sure the instrument survives the environment in which it is supposed to operate. Which is why an environmental test with the Radio over Fiber (RFoF) housing seemed appropriate.

The aluminum housing and phosphor bronze caps of the RFoF modules where put inside a pot. On the bottom of this pot resides a mixture of water and salt. The pot is put in a temperature chamber and cycled from 10C to 70C several times a day for around 2 months. The results clearly show that unprotected caps corrode heavily and the unprotected aluminum is affected to by the salt and water mixture (pic.6 close-up, a small part of the original material color is visible). We are glad to see that the coatings on the materials are effective, and to show what harsh climates can do with the instruments.
Copyright: Lesley Goudbeek
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