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Proceedings Paper

Outgassing study of spacecraft materials and contaminant transport simulations
Author(s): Chung M. Wong; Aura C. Labatete-Goeppinger; Jesse D. Fowler; Myriam P. Easton; De-Ling Liu
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Paper Abstract

Contamination control plays an important role in sustaining spacecraft performance. One spacecraft degradation mechanism involves long-term on-orbit molecular outgassing from spacecraft materials. The outgassed molecules may accumulate on thermal control surfaces and/or optics, causing degradation. In this study, we performed outgassing measurements of multiple spacecraft materials, including adhesives, Nylon Velcro, and other assembly materials through a modified ASTM E595 test method. The modified ASTM E595 test had the source and receiver temperature remained at 125°C and 25°C, respectively, but with prolonged outgassing periods of two weeks. The condensable contaminants were analyzed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) to determine their spectral transmission and chemical composition. The FTIR spectra showed several spacecraft materials, primarily adhesives and potting materials, exhibiting slight absorption from contaminants consisting of hydroxyl groups and carboxylic acids. To gain insight into molecular contaminant transport, simulations were conducted to characterize contaminant accumulation inside a hypothetical space system cavity. The simulation indicated that contaminant molecules bouncing inside the hypothetical payload cavity can lead to deposition on colder surfaces, even though large openings are available to provide venting pathways for escaping to space. The newly established molecular contaminant transport simulation capability holds the promise of providing quantitative guidance for future spacecraft and its venting design.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9952, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2016, 995203 (27 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2239103
Show Author Affiliations
Chung M. Wong, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Aura C. Labatete-Goeppinger, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Jesse D. Fowler, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Myriam P. Easton, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
De-Ling Liu, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9952:
Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2016
Joanne Egges; Carlos E. Soares; Eve M. Wooldridge, Editor(s)

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