28 September 1999 Fabrication and thermo-optical properties of the MLS composite primary reflector
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The Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) is a limb-sounding radiometer sensing emissions in the millimeter and sub- millimeter range. MLS will contribute to an understanding of atmospheric chemistry by assessing stratospheric and tropospheric ozone depletion, climate forcings and volcanic effects. The heart of the antenna is the primary reflector, constructed from graphite/cyanate composites in a facesheet/core construction. The reflector has an aperture of one square meter, a mass of 8.7 kilos and final figure accuracy of 4.37 microns rms. The surface is also modified to ensure RF reflectivity, prevent solar concentration and provide thermal balance to the spacecraft. The surface is prepared by precision bead-blasting, then coated with vapor deposited aluminum and finally a layer of silicon suboxide to control the IR emissivity. The resulting surface has a solar absorptance of 0.43 and an absorptance/emittance ratio of 1.3. BRDF analysis shows that 93 percent of the incident thermal energy is reflected outside a 10 degree angle of cone. For its mass and aperture, we believe this reflector to have the highest figure accuracy yet achieved in a composite antenna construction.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Paul B. Willis, Paul B. Willis, Jack E. Dyer, Jack E. Dyer, Samuel Dummer, Samuel Dummer, "Fabrication and thermo-optical properties of the MLS composite primary reflector", Proc. SPIE 3786, Optomechanical Engineering and Vibration Control, (28 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.363796; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.363796


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