Effects of atomic oxygen erosion on space materials

G. Bitetti, E. Carnà, M. Marchetti, L. Pilloni, F. Poscente, S. Scaglione

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spacecrafts in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) are subjected to a variety of chemical interactions. In particular, between 200 and 700 km altitude, the main atmospheric constituent is atomic oxygen that interacts with a wide variety of materials leading to oxidation or erosion and general degradation of materials properties. These effects can be very severe until to the failure of the entire mission. In this work was studied the mass loss due to the atomic flux that impact on the material surface. The Test Program was initiated to assess the effects of simulated LEO exposure, using SPENVIS (Space Environment information System) code, on current spacecrafts materials in order to understand LEO degradation processes. Different tests was carried out in the SAS facility (Space Environment Simulator) that is mainly constituted by an high vacuum chamber with thermal vacuum-cavity. In this chamber, solar irradiance is simulated by means of IR quartz tubes and UV lamps. A Single-Cell Ion Source of the Advanced Energy Industries (USA) inside the chamber produces various levels of atomic oxygen. Different type of materials for Space applications were studied, in particular polyimide film Kapton. The surface morphology variation was analyzed using a Scanning Electron Microscopy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event5th International Symposium on Environmental Testing for Space Programmes - , Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jan 2004 → …

Conference

Conference5th International Symposium on Environmental Testing for Space Programmes
CountryNetherlands
Period1/1/04 → …

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering

Cite this

Bitetti, G., Carnà, E., Marchetti, M., Pilloni, L., Poscente, F., & Scaglione, S. (2004). Effects of atomic oxygen erosion on space materials. Paper presented at 5th International Symposium on Environmental Testing for Space Programmes, Netherlands.