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Proceedings Paper

Effect Of A Simulated Space Environment On Sulfuric Acid Anodized Aluminum For Spacecraft Thermal Control
Author(s): Huong G. Le; Charles A. Smith; Dudley L. O'Brien
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Paper Abstract

The severe environmental conditions in low Earth orbit (LEO) have a detrimental effect on the performance and longevity of some thermal control coatings. Commonly used thermal control materials such as silver-Teflon, Kapton, and organic paints have shown significant mass loss and changes in optical properties after exposure in LEO. Sulfuric acid anodized aluminum has been evaluated as a thermal control coating for the radiators of the Space Station Freedom. The evaluation included: study of processing parameters necessary to achieve suitable solar absorptance (a) and thermal emittance (c) properties; study of temperature effects on the stability of the aluminum oxide produced by sulfuric acid anodizing; ultraviolet radiation, and electron radiation testing of sulfuric acid anodized aluminum; and characterization of surface chemistry and morphology before and after environmental testing to determine the cause of degradation. Results show that sulfuric acid anodized aluminum may be a satisfactory thermal control coating for the radiators of the Space Station Freedom.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 1989
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 1118, Space Optical Materials and Space Qualification of Optics, (26 October 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.960948
Show Author Affiliations
Huong G. Le, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company (United States)
Charles A. Smith, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company (United States)
Dudley L. O'Brien, McDonnell Douglas Space Systems Company (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1118:
Space Optical Materials and Space Qualification of Optics
Robert R. Hale, Editor(s)

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