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Proceedings Paper

Effects Of Particulate Contamination On Optical Solar Reflectors
Author(s): Kim A. Benninghoven
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Paper Abstract

Second surface mirrors (metallized fused silica), commonly used for critical spacecraft thermal control applications, require low solar absorptance and high thermal emittance. Particulate contamination on these surfaces increases the solar absorptance and consequently degrades the thermal performance of the spacecraft. Quantification of the effects of particulate contamination from manufacturing through deployment will permit an assessment of effects on mission performance. Aerojet ElectroSystems Company (AESC) has developed a theoretical model to predict second surface mirror optical degradation resulting from particulate contamination at coverages less than 1% obscuration. Experimental verification of the model has been performed using well characterized, uniformly monodispersed particles of 4-12 μm size distribution. Both white latex spheres and nickel particles with solar absorptances in the range 0.1 to 0.5 were used to investigate the effects of opaque particles which are characteristic of typical spacecraft contaminants. The experimental data obtained in this study indicated that the Aerojet model serves as a valid means of quantitatively correlating second surface mirror optical properties with particle obscuration for small coverages. The quantitative prediction capability resulting from this investigation permits establishment of maximum permissible levels of particle accumulation with respect to mission performance impact. This, in turn, is useful for formulating contamination control strategies during prelaunch activities where particle fallout rates can be monitored and controlled.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 1987
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0777, Optical Systems Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control, (1 January 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.967070
Show Author Affiliations
Kim A. Benninghoven, Aerolet ElectroSystems Co. (United States)


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

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