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April 30th, 2007
Missile domes house the sensors that are used to guide the weapon to its target, but high speeds can cause the air around the missile to heat up and distort the infrared capabilities. Sapphire does a fine job of preventing such distortion; however the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies says sapphire's high processing price can put the price tag for a missile dome at close to $3,000.
Boston-based Raytheon said the first phase of the DARPA contract will involved the development of composites using nanotech materials designed to be much stronger that current single-phase infrared materials.
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