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Proceedings Paper

Spacecraft contamination: active cleaning and control
Author(s): Charles Stein; Thomas R. King; Warren G. Wilson; R. Robertson
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Paper Abstract

Critical surfaces on satellites operating int he low earth orbit can be contaminated by molecular species emanating from the spacecraft itself and from hypervelocity debris impacts. Consequently, on-board procedures are necessary to limit the contamination to levels below specified thicknesses in order to achieve the operational requirements of solar panels, thermal management materials, thermal radiators and optical systems. We demonstrate that our recently discovered phenomenon of the acceleration of the atomic oxygen erosion of organic molecular species by the simultaneous super-position of an electrostatic charge on the substrate, can be used to clean organic contaminants off critical surfaces in space.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 October 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3427, Optical Systems Contamination and Degradation, (27 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.328520
Show Author Affiliations
Charles Stein, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Thomas R. King, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Warren G. Wilson, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
R. Robertson, Air Force Research Lab. (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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