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Santa Barbara Infrared, a manufacturer of advanced infrared (IR) and electro-optical (E-O) test hardware for aerospace and defense, announces a new ultra-black surface coating technology that improves infrared emissivity in the midwave-infrared (MWIR) and longwave-infrared (LWIR) spectral wavelengths. The unprecedented effective emissivity utilizes the Vantablack® S-VIS coating from Surrey NanoSystems (United Kingdom) for blackbody calibration sources and cold shields. In the MWIR (from 3 to 5 microns), emissivity is greater than 99.8 percent (± 0.1 percent); in the LWIR (from 8 to 12 microns), it is greater than 99.5 percent (± 0.15 percent). SBIR now offers the Vantablack coating for terrestrial blackbody applications worldwide under an exclusive licensing agreement with Surrey NanoSystems.

Vantablack is the world's blackest surface coating material for the ultraviolet (UV) to far-infrared (FIR) spectrum. It employs an innovative nanomaterial structure that absorbs virtually all incident light. Developed for space-borne imaging applications, it offers exceptional IR absorption and excellent thermal, mechanical and environmental stability, making it ideal for the most demanding applications. The new material has already achieved space heritage with its recent deployment on an Earth-observation satellite.

The previously-unachievable emissivity levels on a flat-plate blackbody source provide improved radiometric accuracy for the calibration of IR cameras.  Additionally, stray light reduction in baffles for cold-shield designs and IR radiation applications will also benefit from this novel technology.

Steve McHugh, president of SBIR, notes, “We are excited to announce our exclusive rights agreement with Surrey NanoSystems for the use of the ultra-black Vantablack. The superb broad-band absorption of the coatings and the highly-uniform deposition layer help us create blackbody sources that offer extremely high radiometric performance without caveats - greatly enhancing ease of use and accuracy.  The new coating will improve the performance and utility of SBIR’s precision E-O instrumentation, reinforcing our leadership position in military, aerospace, IR/FLIR testing and simulation markets. We are delighted to offer this unique product in all our blackbody products.”

Surrey NanoSystems’ CEO David Wong comments, “We’re really pleased to have Vantablack recognized by SBIR, which has a reputation built on performance and precision. We’re also delighted to have a partner to simplify procurement and provide local support for Vantablack coatings in North America. We see this as crucial to serving such an important market.”


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