National Capital Section
of the Optical Society of America

2015: The International Year of Light

Fourth 2014-2015 meeting of the
National Capital Section of the Optical Society of America

At the NASA Goddard Visitor Center
Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

"Development of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes for Space Flight Instrumentation"

John Hagopian,
Optics Branch, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD


A team of engineers and scientists led by John Hagopian at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has been developing multiwalled carbon nanotubes for a number of space flight applications since 2007. The group has optimized the carbon nanotubes for maximum absorption over the wavelength range from 200 nm to 100 μm. The material is more than 10x darker than the most commonly used NASA paints from in the near uv to near ir with even greater performance benefits in the mid- to far infrared, displaying the highest emissivity ever measured. Critical to the application of this technology is the introduction of an adhesion layer to improve the robustness of the carbon nanotube film while developing its application to a variety of substrates. The technology is being developed for use in space flight instrumentation to reduce stray light by orders of magnitude, to improve far-ir detector performance, to provide near ideal calibrator targets and radiators. The use of this technology can significantly improve the performance of future NASA instruments. Benefits include: a.) fewer stray light controls to achieve equivalent performance; b.) increased observational efficiency in high contrast scenes; c.) better signal to noise thereby enabling new observations; and d.) more efficient, accurate instrument calibrators.


John G. Hagopian is a Senior Optical Physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in the Optics Branch. He served as alignment and test engineer for the Far Infrared Spectrometer on the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE), Lead on the Broad Band X-Ray Telescope and Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) on Cassini mission to Saturn, the Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR) for the HST repair mission and contributed to the Energetic Gamma Ray Telescope, Tropospheric Emissions Spectrometer and IRMOS. Mr. Hagopian served as the Integrated Science Instrument Module and Mission Optical Systems Lead for the James Webb Space Telescope. Currently he is supporting the alignment integration and test of the ATLAS instrument for IceSatII. His area of expertise is optical alignment, integration and test of instruments spanning the electromagnetic spectrum. He has developed novel technologies in optics, detectors, acoustic testing, micro-stability testing, laser engineering, contamination control and various nanotechnologies including carbon nanotubes and nanoscale metallic structures. Mr. Hagopian holds patents relating to nanotechnology, optical test and optical communications. He has BA’s in Physics and Astronomy and a MA in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Virginia.


6:00 PM Complementary chips and beverages at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center, ICESat Road (formerly Soil Conservation Road), Greenbelt, MD

6:30 PM Lecture at NASA Goddard Visitor Center

~7:45 PM Optional Dinner at Siri’s Chef’s Secret, 5810 Greenbelt Rd., Greenbelt, MD. The dinner will be about $20. plus tax and tip.

DIRECTIONS to NASA Goddard Visitor Center

From the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495) exit onto the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, North, towards Baltimore.
Almost immediately, exit onto Greenbelt Road (Rt. 193) East, following signs towards NASA Goddard Space Flight Center [you will turn
left from the exit ramp onto Greenbelt Road].
If you are approaching from the Outer Loop of the Beltway, on the exit road to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway there is a slip road
that leads directly on to Greenbelt Road eastbound, so, in this case, you would not turn "left" on to Greenbelt Road

Traveling East on Greenbelt Rd,
Take Greenbelt Road east for approximately two miles. The main gate will be on the left at the first traffic light after Cipriano Road. Continue on to the next traffic light and turn left onto ICESat Road and take your first left left to reach the Visitor Center.

Reservations are requested for the dinner so that we may let the restaurant know how many to expect. Contact:
John Burris
(301) 614-5031

UPCOMING MEETINGS - Please save the dates.

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