The Dark Ages Lunar Interferometer (DALI) with polyimide foil and embedded low frequency dipoles will study the early Universe.NLSI’s LUNAR team is testing of a piece of Kapton film at the University of Colorado at Boulder under a vacuum of about 10^-7 torr. The objective of this month long test is to simulate the lunar conditions that the Kapton film will experience during a year on the moon. The vacuum chamber will be cycled between -150 and 100 degrees Celscius with each hot or cold cycle lasting 24 hours. In addition, during the hot cycles, UV light is directed at the Kapton to simulate the radiation of the sun.

The temperature of the Kapton film and various parts of the chamber are being monitored throughout the test. In addition, researchers are measuring the resistance of the copper coating on one side of the Kapton film with the intention of finding the temperature dependence of the electrical conductivity of the copper as well as to determine if the electrical properties of the copper degrade after prolonged exposure to thermal cycling and ultraviolet light.

At this time several pages have been added to the LUNAR website which document the current test and several of the tests leading up to it. The main test page also displays the raw data of the current test in real time. The data is being read approximately every minute and you need only refresh the page to see the most updated information.

You can see a video of the Kapton Film being unrolled in the test chamber and watch the live web cam here!

Students from Thomas Jefferson High School for School and Technology in Alexandria, Viginia developed and tested a small remote controlled rover to drive around some obstacles and deploy a few meters of Aluminum foil to simulate deployment of the Kapton film currently being tested in the lab for use on low frequency radio array’s on the moon.

The Team

Project Manager: Dr. Jack Burns
Team Leader: Laura Kruger
Team Members: Ricardo Alfaro, Fran Lettang, Kristina Davis
Also contributing (and special thanks to): Mike Kaiser

Read their exciting research proposal. For more information about this project please contact Matt Benjamin at

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff

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