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Proceedings Paper

Optical stability of silicone lens material after exposure to emulated space environmental radiation
Author(s): David T. Hoppe; David L. Edwards; Charles L. Semmel; Mark J. O'Neill; A. J. McDanal
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Paper Abstract

Silicone lens materials, baselined for space power applications, were exposed to various components of a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) radiation environment to determine the suitability of the material for long-term missions. Sample materials were exposed to electrons, protons, Near Ultraviolet (NUV), and Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) radiation. The samples were exposed to individual and to various combinations of these space environmental components. The electron and proton exposure levels were determined from radiation measurements performed in GEO. NUV and VUV radiation exposures were based on solar emissions at zero air mass (AM0). Lens material degradation was determined by the change in optical spectral transmission of the silicone materials. A reduction in the transmittance of the material will reduce the power generating potential of solar cells. The spectral transmission was measured at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), after exposure to space environmental elements including electrons, protons, VUV and NUV. Entech, Inc. conducted performance tests on samples exposed to short duration proton and electron radiation. Results of these tests will be discussed. Minor degradation was witnessed on samples exposed to NUV and VUV light. The largest transmission spectral degradation occurred in the wavelength range below the quantum efficiency of space qualified solar cells. Transmission degradation in the wavelength range of maximum solar cell quantum efficiency was small.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 December 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5179, Optical Materials and Structures Technologies, (12 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.505755
Show Author Affiliations
David T. Hoppe, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
David L. Edwards, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Charles L. Semmel, Qualis Corp. (United States)
Mark J. O'Neill, ENTECH, Inc. (United States)
A. J. McDanal, ENTECH, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5179:
Optical Materials and Structures Technologies
William A. Goodman, Editor(s)

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