Lens technology to study fruit flies in space

Share this on social media:

Imaging lens technology is being launched into space as part of the biological research project 'Fruit Fly Lab' from NASA's Ames Research Center. The Lab onboard the International Space Station will examine how microgravity and other aspects of the space environment affect fruit flies.

The Fruit Fly Lab will provide long-term housing for fruit flies onboard the station at microgravity and a controlled 1g inside an on-orbit centrifuge. As part of the Lab’s observation and lighting system, a Sunex fisheye lens provides a 180° overview to optimise analytical output from the camera monitoring the flies’ lifetime cycle. The lens has a small form factor and, with an all glass and metal construction, the DSL215 is stable over a range of temperatures. The lenses had to pass a special quality assurance and safety audit to ensure space suitability.

The Fruit Fly Lab was developed at NASA’s Ames Research Center with the German EADS company Airbus Defence and Space performing the hardware development. Coordinating the selection and testing phase, imaging specialist Framos, as a Sunex distributor, provided Airbus Defence and Space with the Sunex DSL215 lens.

Christian Bruderrek, project manager, Life Science Orbital Systems and Space Exploration at Airbus Defence and Space, commented: ‘To gain reliable results and to collaborate with NASA it is extremely important to have reliable products like the Sunex lenses and to work with reliable partners like Framos.’

The project is due to fly into space with SpaceX5 mission scheduled for launch on 1 December.

Further information:

Recent News

29 July 2020

The Perseverance rover contains 19 cameras, including seven scientific instruments. It will analyse the climate and geology of Mars, looking for signs of past life, as well as monitoring the Martian atmosphere

02 July 2020

Norwegian seafood firm, Lerøy, has installed hyperspectral cameras on processing lines to sort fish. The system is able to measure the amount of blood in white fish, which gives a grade of quality

09 June 2020

Hyperspectral imaging is being used in a research programme at hospitals in Maryland and New York to investigate the prognostic value of skin findings associated with Covid-19 infection

27 May 2020

The composite picture of The Night Watch, made of 528 exposures stitched together digitally, makes it possible to zoom in on individual brushstrokes and even particles of pigment in the painting