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Proceedings Paper

Flight Experiment To Measure Contamination Enhancement By Spacecraft Charging
Author(s): David F. Hall
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Paper Abstract

The ML12 experiment was launched on January 30, 1979, on the United States Air Force (USAF) Space Test Program P78-2 spacecraft, which is sometimes called SCATHA. It was designed to determine if spacecraft charging contributes significantly to the rate that contaminants arrive at exterior spacecraft surfaces, and to establish some of the characteristics and effects of these contaminants. Two sensor types are used in the experiment. One type is a combination retarding potential analyzer (RPA) and temperature controlled quartz crystal microbalance (TQCM). With it, distinction can be made between charged and uncharged arriving molecules, and information can be obtained concerning the temperature dependence of contaminant adsorption and desorption rates. The other sensor type is a tray of calorimetrically mounted thermal control coating (TCC) samples. Samples of different spacecraft surface materials are exposed to arriving contaminants, and the solar absorptances (as) of these materials are continuously measured. The two RPA/TQCMs are both accumulating mass, but the accumulation rates and characteristics of the mass differ, probably because of the locations of the RPA/TQCMs on the spacecraft. Of the 16 TCC samples, two quartz fabric samples showed .01 to .05 increases in as during the first 50 days on orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 August 1980
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 0216, Optics in Adverse Environments II, (5 August 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958455
Show Author Affiliations
David F. Hall, The Aerospace Corporation (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0216:
Optics in Adverse Environments II
Mark A. Kahan, Editor(s)

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