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Proceedings Paper

Solar absorptance measurements in space on operational spacecraft
Author(s): Hank W. Babel; Cherie A. Jones; Donald R. Wilkes; Roger C. Linton
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Paper Abstract

Spacecraft hardware such as radiators requires the maintenance of solar absorptance within tight bounds for their design life. Such hardware is sized in part based on the beginning- and end-of-life absorptance. It has been difficult to make accurate end-of-life determinations based on either ground based data or flight data. The synergistic effect of atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation, and contamination has made it difficult to duplicate space exposures in the laboratory. The absorptance of flight exposed samples brought back to earth are not representative of the conditions in space because of changes brought about by exposure to air. This paper proposes to augment the current in-space monitoring techniques with periodic, in- space, direct measurements of the solar absorptance on operational hardware. NASA funded AZ Technology to develop a portable, space-rated device similar to the LPSR-200 portable spectroreflectometer, a space portable spectroreflectometer (SPSR). This instrument is robotically compatible and can be run using spacecraft power or batteries. The instrument also has measurement storage capacity for later retrieval and evaluation. Although extensive development work has already been completed, authorization to build a unit for a flight experiment has not been received. The Russians have expressed an interest in having absorptance measurements made on their MIR I Space Station as part of the NASA/MIR flight experiments. Proposals are currently being made to obtain authorization for the construction and use of SPSR on NASA/MIR flight experiments, to help mitigate potential problems for the International Space Station Alpha (ISSA).

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 July 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2455, Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, Aerospace Hardware, and Materials, (7 July 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.213563
Show Author Affiliations
Hank W. Babel, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (United States)
Cherie A. Jones, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (United States)
Donald R. Wilkes, AZ Technology (United States)
Roger C. Linton, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2455:
Nondestructive Evaluation of Aging Aircraft, Airports, Aerospace Hardware, and Materials
Tobey M. Cordell; Raymond D. Rempt, Editor(s)

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