1 January 1987 Effects Of Particulate Contamination On Optical Solar Reflectors
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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.
© (1987) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kim A. Benninghoven, "Effects Of Particulate Contamination On Optical Solar Reflectors", Proc. SPIE 0777, Optical Systems Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control, (1 January 1987); doi: 10.1117/12.967070; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.967070

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