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Proceedings Paper

Shuttle Contamination And Experimentation: DoD Implications
Author(s): B. J. Barnhart; J. C. Baker
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Paper Abstract

As the DOD makes the transition into the Shuttle era, experimenters are becoming more concerned about the environmental contamination of the Shuttle Orbiter. Their concern is that Shuttle contamination could prevent major planned experiments from obtaining required data, particularly sensitive infrared systems (e.g., Talon Gold, SIRE, STMP). The performance of optical experiments could be limited by the natural background, by light scattering and emissions from particulates and molecules, and by molecular absorption. Deposition and optical surface degradation may prove to be extensive problems, particularly for cryogenic optics. Other experiments such as communications and space environment tests may also be affected by deposition as well as electromagnetic interference. It has been known that the Shuttle's environment could cause contamination problems during water dumps, thruster firings, paint outgassing and other sources. Predictions have been made, but the contamination species and extent of these problems will not be known definitely until space measurements are made. This paper identifies the contamination types, sources, and their possible effect on particular types of space experiments. The paper also discusses NASA's plans for contamination measurements and the Space Test experiments which could contribute to early resolution of the contamination questions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 1981
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0280, Infrared Astronomy: Scientific/Military Thrusts and Instrumentation, (27 July 1981);
Show Author Affiliations
B. J. Barnhart, Analytic Services Incorporated (United States)
J. C. Baker, Analytic Services Incorporated (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0280:
Infrared Astronomy: Scientific/Military Thrusts and Instrumentation
Nancy W. Boggess; Howard J. Stears, Editor(s)

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