From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
Contamination control plays an important role in sustaining spacecraft performance. One spacecraft degradation mechanism involves long-term on-orbit molecular outgassing from spacecraft materials. The outgassed molecules may accumulate on thermal control surfaces and/or optics, causing degradation. In this study, we performed outgassing measurements of multiple spacecraft materials, including adhesives, Nylon Velcro, and other assembly materials through a modified ASTM E595 test method. The modified ASTM E595 test had the source and receiver temperature remained at 125°C and 25°C, respectively, but with prolonged outgassing periods of two weeks. The condensable contaminants were analyzed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) to determine their spectral transmission and chemical composition. The FTIR spectra showed several spacecraft materials, primarily adhesives and potting materials, exhibiting slight absorption from contaminants consisting of hydroxyl groups and carboxylic acids. To gain insight into molecular contaminant transport, simulations were conducted to characterize contaminant accumulation inside a hypothetical space system cavity. The simulation indicated that contaminant molecules bouncing inside the hypothetical payload cavity can lead to deposition on colder surfaces, even though large openings are available to provide venting pathways for escaping to space. The newly established molecular contaminant transport simulation capability holds the promise of providing quantitative guidance for future spacecraft and its venting design.
Chung M. Wong, Aura C. Labatete-Goeppinger, Jesse D. Fowler, Myriam P. Easton, and De-Ling Liu, "Outgassing study of spacecraft materials and contaminant transport simulations," Proc. SPIE 9952, Systems Contamination: Prediction, Control, and Performance 2016, 995203 (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 31, 2016; Published: 27 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2239103.
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