Long-Focal Length Optical Microscopes
The MPRL has several Questar QRMS-M remote measurement system with a QM-100 optic that can resolve objects as small as 1 µm. The long-focal length ability of the Questar means that specimens can be studied during testing in controlled environments that would preclude the use of normal microscopes. This makes the Questar a particularly good tool for monitoring small, dynamic defects in advanced materials, such as growing cracks and interfacial failures in composites. Visual information from the Questar is transferred via a CCD camera to a high resolution monitor and can be recorded on video tape. Live or recorded action can be displayed on an integrated microcomputer with frame grabbing capabilities. These capabilities can freeze any moving video within five frames and digitally store the still image. The digitized images have been used to clearly explain the progression of damage in advanced metal matrix composites.