“NASA’s Mars 2020 mission … rover is being designed to seek signs of past life on Mars, collect and store a set of soil and rock samples that could be returned to Earth in the future.”1 The Mars 2020 Project has a top-level requirement that soil and rock samples contain less than 10 ppb Total Organic Carbon (TOC) of terrestrial
origin 2. The approach taken to meet this requirement is to identify and model for each Mars 2020 mission phase the TOC sources, model TOC transport from sources to sample contacting surfaces, and combine them into an end-to-end model that calculates the TOC in each sample during the mission. The calculations show that Mars 2020 can achieve the TOC sample cleanliness requirement because the project has adopted specific TOC mitigations strategies.
We present the results of a laboratory test to determine the effects of bulk-deposited DC-704 silicone-oil contaminant film on the transmittance properties of an anti-reflective (AR) coated fused-silica optical substrate. Testing and optical measurements were performed in vacuum in the Boeing Contamination Effects Test Facility (CETF). The test and measurement procedures are described herein. Measurement results are presented showing the change in transmittance characteristics as a function of contaminant deposit thickness and vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) exposure levels. The results show an initial degradation in the transmittance of the contaminated sample. This is followed by a partial recovery in transmittance as the sample is exposed to additional VUV radiation. The results also show a loss of transmittance in the ultraviolet portion of the spectrum and an increase in transmittance in the infrared portion of the spectrum. Thin-film interference analysis indicates that some of the observed transmittance results can be successfully modeled, but only if the contaminant film is assumed to have the complex index of refraction of SiO2 rather than DC-704 silicone oil. Post-test Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) scans of the test sample indicate the formation of contaminant islands and the presence of a thin uniform contaminant film on the sample.