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Proceedings Paper

Flight measurement of molecular contaminant deposition
Author(s): David F. Hall
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Paper Abstract

A spacecraft was instrumented with four temperature controlled quartz crystal microbalance (TQCM) contamination detectors. One TQCM, located inside the vehicle, recorded contaminant deposition that was orders of magnitude higher than did the three TQCMs located in various positions outside the vehicle. The deposition rate on the interior TQCM varied with the temperatures of interior spacecraft cavity surfaces. In particular, there is clear evidence of condensation on these surfaces and re-evaporation from these surfaces by previously outgassed contaminant molecules. The e-folding time constants of the deposition on two of the exterior TQCMs held at -50 degree(s)C are approximately 1.4 years, with extrapolated final equivalent thickness of the deposition in the 20 - 25 nm (200 - 250 angstroms) range. The third exterior TQCM, which has a significant field of view of a segmented thermal blanket, collected contamination at a greater rate. The data enable the ranking of the several contamination transport mechanisms at work and the drawing of general recommendations for spacecraft design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 October 1994
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2261, Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurements, and Control IV, (19 October 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.190158
Show Author Affiliations
David F. Hall, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2261:
Optical System Contamination: Effects, Measurements, and Control IV
A. Peter M. Glassford, Editor(s)

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