Instrument Database


Complex Irradiation Facility

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General information

  • Investigation area
  • Techniques
    Space Environment Testing
  • Manufacturer
    DLR Bremen, Institute of Space Systems
  • Fabrication year
  • Measured quantity
    Alteration of material properties due to exposure to vacuum, proton, electron and electromagnetic radiation is observed.
  • Main application
    The Complex Irradiation Facility (CIF) is used to test and qualify functional surfaces for space application or other applications with similar environments. It simulates the space environment conditions such as vacuum, protons, electron and electromagnetic radiation.
  • In-situ, real-time compatible
  • Correlated workflow available

Instrument specification

  • Technical aspects

    The Complex Irradiation Facility (CIF) is used for experimental research into the degradation of materials under simulated space radiation conditions as those found beyond that of low Earth orbits. Three sources of light and a proton/electron dual beam accelerator are connected to an irradiation chamber where the samples can be exposed to a precisely defined dose of electromagnetic radiation (IR, visible light, UV and VUV), as well as electrons and protons. The energy from the protons and electrons, which can amount up to 100 keV, enables a penetration depth of a few micrometres, depending on the sample. This allows the in-depth study of the main degradation effects on the sample's surface area. The facility is set up with ultra-high vacuum technology performed with metal gaskets without  organic components, such as artificial gaskets and pump oil. This prevents self-contamination, which could influence the results of the experiments. Further information and technical data can be found at .

  • In-situ capabilities
    Optical camera observes material samples during irradiation, further a massspectrometer is available to observe components of outgassing substances.
  • Correlated workflow
    The CIF can be combined with all techniques to investigate the surface properties of materials to observe the deteroriation after irradiation.
  • Additional measurement possibilities
    Also check for all test facilites of the Institute of Space Systems of the DLR Bremen.


Instrument location

  • Group
    Institute of Space Systems
  • Faculty
    Fachbereich 4
  • Institute
Updated by: MAPEX