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Proceedings Paper

Shuttle Environment Effects On Coated Mirrors
Author(s): Ronald G Bettini
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Paper Abstract

oated mirrors used in optical instrument payloads designed for use at ultraviolet wave-lengths face the risk that molecular contamination, in small amounts, can degrade reflectivity. This can be particularly damaging if a combination of solar ultraviolet radiation and organic gases are present, resulting in photopolymerization of hydrocarbon tars onto a mirror surface. Shuttle flight data has suggested that high energy atomic oxygen may be used to clean a previously contaminated mirror. A passive flight experiment, relying only on before and after reflectivity measurements, was designed and built to investigate the effects of molecular contamination in space. A number of mirror samples were prepared with a variety of surface treatments. These included contamination of the mirrors with Dioptyl Phthalate, ultraviolet irradiation of a portion of the contaminated samples, and scratches on the mirror surfaces. The samples were mounted in scaled-down telescope barrel configurations to accurately simulate the effects of the exposure of a full-size astronomical telescope to ambient atomic oxygen flow. A total of nine small optical assemblies were mounted on a plate. The plate was then mounted on a Shuttle Payloads of Opportunity Carrier pallet, facing out of the Shuttle bay, and flown as part of the Hitch-Hiker-G payload on the STS-61C flight of January 1986. The results of this experiment are presented in this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 1987
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0777, Optical Systems Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control, (1 January 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.967063
Show Author Affiliations
Ronald G Bettini, Perkin-Elmer Corporation (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0777:
Optical Systems Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control
A. Peter M. Glassford, Editor(s)

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