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Proceedings Paper

Developing And Qualifying Space Lighting Systems
Author(s): B. Guscott; J. Richter; J. Kiss; S. Holt
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Paper Abstract

ILC's involvement in aerospace lighting will be discussed, detailing the pitfalls and problems associated with the design development and qualification of space suitable hardware. A recent project will be investigated and a brief opinion of the requirements for future space lighting issues will be presented. ILC's history in the aerospace lighting field began in 1977 with a project for a xenon short arc lamp for the Mars Viking Lander biological experiments. This lamp required the design and fabrication of a 5 watt device that would withstand lift-off and on-orbit conditions and function once landed on Mars. This first ILC product was an outgrowth of on-going work at Varian in Palo Alto. Next came lighting for the Space Shuttle both the interiors and exteriors; fluorescent tubes for the European Spacelab; beacon lights for the manned maneuverable unit; light sources for several shuttle experiment packages and currently, projects to provide pilot lights for a tethered satellite, beacons for rockets, and the general illumination for the proposed Space Station. ILC has grown with the US space program, and now has a dedicated division to respond to the expanding lighting needs of the space related community. The problems encountered and solutions for these problems for the luminaires for the Space Shuttle are well documented in the papers by Evans, et.al.,and in the papers Since these publications are almost 10 years old it is a tribute to their initial designs that to date the only failures that have occurred to space hardware are 6 lamp failures to Pay Load Bay Lights (PLB's) and 3 lamp failures to Remote Manipulator Arm Lights (RMA's), no fluorescent luminaire has failed. Technical issues that have provided the most challenge include: o Developing a highly efficient metal halide lamp that would withstand the vibration and thermal specifications. o Designing fluorescent luminaires that can withstand the balldrop test. o Identifying materials that provide the correct thermal and mechanical stability (RMA, Overhead Docking Light [OHD], PLB). o Dimming of fluorescent tubes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 1989
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 1118, Space Optical Materials and Space Qualification of Optics, (26 October 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.960960
Show Author Affiliations
B. Guscott, ILC Technology, Inc. (United States)
J. Richter, ILC Technology, Inc. (United States)
J. Kiss, ILC Technology, Inc. (United States)
S. Holt, ILC Technology, Inc. (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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