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Comparison of Flight and Ground Tests of Environmental Degradation of MISSE-6 SUSpECS Materials

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The effects of prolonged exposure to the LEO space environment and charge-enhanced contamination on optical, thermal, and electron emission and transport properties of common spacecraft materials have been investigated by comparing pre- and post-flight characterization measurements. The State of Utah Space Environment and Contamination Study (SUSpECS) deployed in March 2008 on board the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE-6) payload, was exposed for ~18 months on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS), and was retrieved in September 2009. A total of 165 samples were mounted on three separate SUSpECS panels on the ram and wake sides on the ISS. Tests on a subset of the SUSpECS samples were conducted at the Arnold Engineering Development Center to simulate the effects of the LEO environment exposure.


Proceedings of the 11th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference, Albuquerque, NM. Author post print available for download through link above.

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