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1 January 1987 Contaminant Buildup On Ram Facing Spacecraft Surfaces
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Abstract
The pressure buildup on spacecraft surfaces, facing the direction of motion, results in a contaminant cloud comprised of surface recombined ambient species, ambient/surface contaminants and the incoming ambient gases. The surface reemitted gases produce large column densities of potentially optically active gas species that do not require outgassing, engine, vent or leak contaminant sources. These gases can create unacceptable levels by the simple act of placing a surface on orbit which intercepts the ambient species. This enhanced gas cloud density also changes the mean free path of contaminant molecules injected into this cloud and alters the resulting return flux to surfaces. A new modeling approach (RAMDEN) is presented that allows gas buildup predictions to be made in a short time (minutes to hours) as opposed to days for Direct Monte Carlo Simulation (DMCS). Predictions are made for disks, solar arrays and shuttle surfaces. The impact of this effect on current shuttle contamination models and developing space station models is addressed.
© (1987) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
R. O. Rantanen and T. D. Gordon "Contaminant Buildup On Ram Facing Spacecraft Surfaces", Proc. SPIE 0777, Optical Systems Contamination: Effects, Measurement, Control, (1 January 1987); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.967064
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