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Proceedings Paper

Particle trajectories and clearing times after mechanical door openings on the MSX satellite
Author(s): B. David Green; Gary E. Galica; Phillip A. Mulhall; James S. Dyer; O. Manuel Uy
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Paper Abstract

Particles generated from spacecraft surfaces will interfere with the remote sensing of emissions from objects in space, the earth, and its upper atmosphere. We have previously reviewed the sources, sizes, and composition of particles observed in local spacecraft environments and presented predictions of the optical signatures these particles would generate and presented predictions of the signatures of these nearfield particles as detected by spacecraft optical systems. Particles leaving spacecraft surfaces will be accelerated by atmospheric drag (and magnetic forces if charged). Velocities and accelerations relative to the spacecraft x,y,z, coordinate system allow the particle to move through the optical sensors' field-of-view after they leave the spacecraft surfaces. The particle's trajectory during the optical system integration time gives rise to a particle track in the detected image. Particles can be remotely detected across the UV-IR spectral region by their thermal emission, scattered sunlight, and earthshine. The spectral-bandpass-integrated signatures of these particles (dependent upon size and composition) is then mapped back onto the UV, visible, and IR sensor systems. At distances less than kilometers, these particles are out of focus for telescoped imaging systems. The image produced is blurred over several pixels. We present here data on the optical signatures observed after the mechanical doors covering the MSX primary optical sensors are removed. This data represents the first observations by these sensors on-orbit, and must be treated as preliminary until a more careful review and calibration is completed. Within these constraints, we have analyzed the data to derive preliminarily positions and trajectories.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 November 1996
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2864, Optical System Contamination V, and Stray Light and System Optimization, (11 November 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.258310
Show Author Affiliations
B. David Green, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
Gary E. Galica, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
Phillip A. Mulhall, Physical Sciences Inc. (United States)
James S. Dyer, Utah State Univ. (United States)
O. Manuel Uy, Johns Hopkins Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2864:
Optical System Contamination V, and Stray Light and System Optimization
Robert P. Breault; Stephen M. Pompea; A. Peter M. Glassford; Robert P. Breault; Stephen M. Pompea, Editor(s)

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