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Proceedings Paper

Laser-induced contamination on space optics
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Paper Abstract

Operation of high fluence pulsed laser systems in space imposes various risks to optical components involved. Volatile organic components are omnipresent in vacuum vessels housing space-borne laser systems and can be the source for selective contamination of optics. Laser systems may respond very sensitively to absorption increases of their multiple optical surfaces leading to inacceptable transmission losses and system degradation. In the recent past, thorough and long term laser tests, performed at the optics qualification laboratories at DLR and at ESTEC using space relevant and model substances, have revealed the onset, the built-up, and the later stages of the deposition process. It was found that these deposits tend to accumulate preferably on the laser footprint area of the optic. Observed thicknesses are on the order of several tens of nanometers, which can be sufficient to induce noticeable absorption. Sensitive techniques for insitu and ex-situ monitoring of these molecular contaminative effects under vacuum conditions were developed and are applied successfully. They are summarized in this paper, along with the phenomena, which are significant for the appearance of deposits. In addition, adverse conditions, which are favorable for provoking deposits, are communicated. Finally, mitigative and preventive methods are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 November 2011
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 8190, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2011, 81901E (28 November 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.899190
Show Author Affiliations
Wolfgang Riede, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Helmut Schroeder, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Gintare Bataviciute, Vilnius Univ. (Lithuania)
Denny Wernham, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Adrian Tighe, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Federico Pettazzi, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)
Jorge Alves, European Space Research and Technology Ctr. (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8190:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2011
Gregory J. Exarhos; Vitaly E. Gruzdev; Joseph A. Menapace; Detlev Ristau; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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