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Proceedings Paper

Diverse electron-induced optical emissions from space observatory materials at low temperatures
Author(s): J. R. Dennison; Amberly Evans Jensen; Gregory Wilson; Justin Dekany; Charles W. Bowers; Robert Meloy
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Paper Abstract

Electron irradiation experiments have investigated the diverse electron-induced optical and electrical signatures observed in ground-based tests of various space observatory materials at low temperature. Three types of light emission were observed: (i); long-duration cathodoluminescence which persisted as long as the electron beam was on (ii) short-duration (<1 s) arcing, resulting from electrostatic discharge; and (iii) intermediate-duration (~100 s) glow—termed “flares”. We discuss how the electron currents and arcing—as well as light emission absolute intensity and frequency—depend on electron beam energy, power, and flux and the temperature and thickness of different bulk (polyimides, epoxy resins, and silica glasses) and composite dielectric materials (disordered SiO2 thin films, carbon- and fiberglass-epoxy composites, and macroscopically-conductive carbon-loaded polyimides). We conclude that electron-induced optical emissions resulting from interactions between observatory materials and the space environment electron flux can, in specific circumstances, make significant contributions to the stray light background that could possibly adversely affect the performance of space-based observatories.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2013
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8863, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments 2013, 88630B (27 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2030232
Show Author Affiliations
J. R. Dennison, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Amberly Evans Jensen, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Gregory Wilson, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Justin Dekany, Utah State Univ. (United States)
Charles W. Bowers, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Robert Meloy, ASRC Federal Holding Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8863:
Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments 2013
James B. Heaney; E. Todd Kvamme, Editor(s)

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