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Optical measurements for space research

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The Photon-M4 satellite was launched on July 19, 2014 from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The satellite is equipped with high-precision equipment for conducting experiments under the Russian program of scientific and applied research. Onboard the spacecraft is a unique Caliber device designed by the VNIIOFI in cooperation with the TSNIIMash to improve remote sensing of the Earth.

Space monitoring of climatic and ecological processes is an effective tool for early detection and prediction of negative phenomena in the atmosphere and on the surface of the Earth. Their observation, analysis and prompt alerting of terrestrial services are possible thanks to the latest optical and physical measurement technologies. Caliber is the basis of the world's first scientific experiment in microgravity involving VNIIOFI, aimed at improving the accuracy of radiometric measurements in space.

The Caliber equipment is a model of the blackbody at the melting point of gallium specially designed for use in space. In the experiment, the device performs the function of a highly stable source of thermal radiation for onboard calibration of infrared radiometers – orbit measuring instruments in satellite systems for the optical observation of the Earth surface. The use of the Caliber can significantly improve the accuracy of measurements of climatic parameters to build accurate models of the Earth's climate.

The Photon-M4 mission duration is 60 days at the Earth’s orbit. Its on-board equipment with measurement results will be landed in a descent module for further study and analysis by the specialists of the VNIIOFI , Russia's leading center of metrological support on the basis of optical and photometric measurements.

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A new technique for identifying natural milk

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A new technique for identification of natural milk was presented November 6, 2014 to the Assistant Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Gennadiy Onishchenko and the Head of Rosstandart Alexey Abramov by the metrologists of the All-Russian Research Institute for Optical and Physical Measurements.

Preliminary studies of samples of different kinds of milk were conducted in the VNIIOFI laboratory of optical spectral instruments. The purpose of the scientific research was finding the objective techniques to identify dairy products based on dry (powdered) milk.

What makes the VNIIOFI method unique is that the quality of the milk is determined by the optical measurement of the micron and nano-sized particle distribution in milk. The measurements were made with the laser analyzer of sizes of dispersed particles in liquids developed in the Institute’s laboratory.

The studies have shown significant differences in the particle size distribution in raw milk and the milk reconstituted from powder, and different varieties of milk bought is a supermarket. Thus, the application of the technique presented in the study of different types of milk allows you to set a clear difference between the products, including whole milk and reconstituted milk. After reviewing the results of the research, Gennadiy Onishchenko stressed the necessity to continue this work, involving technologists of relevant specialization. He also emphasized the importance of further development of the instrument base in order to enable the practical use of the technique.

Alexey Abramov, in his turn, noted the importance of further development of the VNIIOFI technique because it allows for an objective assessment of the quality and the comparison of different types of dairy products. The implementation of this method will significantly improve the quality of dairy products supplied to the supermarket chains, said the head of Rosstandart.