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Proceedings Paper

Optical Properties Monitor (OPM) in-situ experiment flown on the Mir station
Author(s): Donald R. Wilkes; James M. Zwiener
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Paper Abstract

Long term stability of new and modified spacecraft materials when exposed to the space environment continues to be a major area of investigation. The natural and induced environment surrounding a spacecraft can decrease material performance and limit useful lifetimes. Materials must be thoroughly tested prior to critical applications. The Optical Properties Monitor (OPM) experiment provides the capability to perform the important flight testing of materials and was flown on the Russian Mir Station to study the long term effects of the natural and induced space environment on materials. The core of the OPM in-flight analysis was three independent optical instruments. These instruments included an integrating sphere spectral reflectometer, vacuum ultraviolet spectrometer, and a Total Integrated Scatter instrument. The OPM also monitored selected components of the environment including the molecular contamination. The OPM was exposed on the exterior of the Mir Docking Module for approximately 8-1/2 months. In flight OPM data measured a low, but significant, level of contamination compared to findings on other experiments deployed on Mir. Degradation of some materials was greater than expected including aluminum conversion coatings and Beta Cloth. Also, significant particulate contamination was detected on the TIS instrument from the return trip from Mir to the ground laboratory.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3784, Rough Surface Scattering and Contamination, (25 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.366726
Show Author Affiliations
Donald R. Wilkes, AZ Technology, Inc. (United States)
James M. Zwiener, AZ Technology, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3784:
Rough Surface Scattering and Contamination
Zu-Han Gu; Philip T. C. Chen; Zu-Han Gu; Alexei A. Maradudin; Alexei A. Maradudin, Editor(s)

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