Breakthrough research for ASRI member, Prof. Moran Bercovici, and his team
Technion projects are to be tested onboard the International Space Station, as part of the Ramon Foundation and the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology’s “Rakia Mission”. One of these projects is being led by ASRI member, Prof. Moran Bercovici of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Prof. Bercovici and his team plan to demonstrate the first-ever fabrication of optical components in space. The Fluidic Telescope Experiment (FLUTE) was designed and built by Dr. Valeri Frumkin, Mor Elgarisi, and Omer Luria, under the guidance of Prof. Bercovici, in collaboration with a team of researchers at NASA, led by Dr. Edward Balaban. The experiment onboard ISS will investigate the ability to leverage the microgravity environment to produce high-quality lenses by shaping liquids into a desired form, followed by their solidification.
On December of 2021, Prof. Moran Bercovici and his team, in collaboration with NASA, demonstrated the creation of lenses by Fluidic Shaping under microgravity conditions, and ran experiments under gravity-free conditions on a series of parabolic zero-g flights. A successful demonstration onboard the ISS will pave the way for fabrication of advanced optical components in space, including the creation of extremely large space telescopes, overcoming today’s launch constraints.