Beginning in 2018, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory restarted exposure campaigns on new and archived samples as part of a multiyear project, some with outdoor exposure for more than a decade. By resuming exposure and collecting and analyzing data on thousands of samples going back decades, several goals can be advanced that can be difficult to determine within the timeline of most projects: 1) correlating an accelerated exposure campaign to outdoor aging, specifically with xenon arc lamp exposure chambers; 2) drawing conclusions between specific corrosion mechanisms and weather patterns; and 3) finding novel relationships between mirror composition and performance.

In addition to building and mining a database, we will experiment with new characterization techniques, primarily focused on macroscopic and microscopic imaging. In introducing these techniques more broadly, it may be possible to reveal a more direct line between optical performance and exposure campaigns by better understanding the degradation mechanisms occurring.

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