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Proceedings Paper

In-situ materials experiments on the Mir station
Author(s): Donald R. Wilkes; Melvin Ralph Carruth
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Paper Abstract

The stability of materials used in the space environment continues to be a limiting technology for space missions. This technology is important to all users of space and particularly the International Space Station (ISS). The optical properties monitor (OPM) and the space portable spectroreflector (SPSR) experiments were performed on the Russian Mir Station to study the long term effects of the natural and induced space environment on materials. The OPM was deployed on the exterior of the Mir Docking Module on April 29, 1997 and remained until retrieval in January, 1998. The OPM exposed test materials to the Mir space environment and measured the effects of this exposure using on-board optical instruments. These instruments included an integrating sphere spectral reflectometer and a two color Total Integrator Scatter (TIS) instrument. The OPM also monitored selected components of the environment including molecular contamination using a pair of temperature- controlled quartz crystal microbalances. The SPSR is a hand- held extra vehicular activity (EVA) instrument that was used by an EVA crew to measure the optical properties of Mir thermal radiator surfaces after many years of operational use in space. The SPSR is an integrating sphere spectral reflectometer similar to the OPM reflectometer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 1998
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 3427, Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation, (27 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.328494
Show Author Affiliations
Donald R. Wilkes, AZ Technology, Inc. (United States)
Melvin Ralph Carruth, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3427:
Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation
Philip T. C. Chen; William E. McClintock; Gary J. Rottman, Editor(s)

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