5 September 2017 Systematic investigation of the optical coatings damages induced in harsh space environment
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The scientific goals required to the next-generation space missions lead the development of innovative instrumentation, conceived to operate in increasingly harsh environments. Optical coatings are among the sub-systems which can highly suffer the agents in such environments. In particular, as recently demonstrated, the accelerated ions and particles can potentially jeopardize the coatings optical performances, with a consequent degradation of the overall functionality of an instrument. Despite its importance, this issue is still poorly investigated. In fact, the fragmentary knowledge of the space environments and the low number of previous ground testing experiments complicates the definition of clear procedures to investigate the behavior of the optical coatings in space. A systematic approach devoted to identify a methodology for the validation of optical coatings under ions irradiation is presented. Monte Carlo simulations are used to evaluate the effects induced by different ion species and energies on both layers and multilayers of different materials, getting an accurate overview of the main criticalities. Such results are then used to plan representative irradiation experiments and the subsequent analysis procedures needed for a proper characterization of the exposed samples. In this paper, a summary of the experiments performed so far is presented. Thanks to these studies we have identified three main damage mechanisms which can be used to explain most of the degradation effects observed when an optical coating is irradiated with low energy particles. A brief discussion of such mechanisms is reported.
Conference Presentation
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Alain Jody Corso, Enrico Tessarolo, Alessandro Martucci, Maria Guglielmina Pelizzo, "Systematic investigation of the optical coatings damages induced in harsh space environment", Proc. SPIE 10401, Astronomical Optics: Design, Manufacture, and Test of Space and Ground Systems, 104010B (5 September 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2275116; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2275116

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