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Proceedings Paper

On-orbit ion cleaning of cryogenic optical surfaces
Author(s): Barret Lippey; Darrell A. Gleichauf
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Paper Abstract

Two methods of ion cleaning of contaminant films from spacecraft optics while on orbit are examined. The first method uses energetic electron sputtering, and the second uses low-energy oxygen ion (LEOI) reactive etching. Water, ammonia, and carbon dioxide cryofilms with electron sputtering have been successfully removed. The mirror materials being cleaned include bare beryllium and protected aluminum coated optics. No damage to these ultralow-scatter mirror materials has been observed, even when the mirrors are purposely overcleaned with electrons by any orders of magnitude. Although electron cleaning sometimes polymerizes or carbonizes organic contamination instead of removing it, LEOIs are able to clean both polymerized and unpolymerized organic material at room temperature without causing damage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 December 1992
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 1754, Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control III, (18 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.140743
Show Author Affiliations
Barret Lippey, Hughes Aircraft Co. (United States)
Darrell A. Gleichauf, Hughes Aircraft Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1754:
Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control III
A. Peter M. Glassford, Editor(s)

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