Date of Award:

5-2016

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Physics

Committee Chair(s)

J. R. Dennison

Committee

J. R. Dennison

Committee

Vince Wickwar

Committee

Farrell Edwards

Abstract

The main cause of spacecraft failures is due to the harsh space environment; therefore, rigorous testing of materials used in modern spacecraft is imperative to ensure proper operation during the life span of the mission. Enhancing the capabilities of ground-based test facilities allows for more accurate measurements to be taken as it better simulates the environment to which spacecraft will be exposed. The range of temperature measurements has been significantly extended for an existing space environment simulation test chamber used in the study of electron emission, sample charging and discharge, electrostatic discharge and arcing, electron transport, and luminescence of spacecraft materials. This was accomplished by incorporating a new two-stage, closed-cycle helium cryostat, which has an extended sample temperature range from 450 K, with long-term controlled stability of -7Pa) that can simulate diverse space environments. These existing capabilities include controllable vacuum and ambient neutral gases conditions (< 10-7 to 10-1 Pa), electron fluxes (5 eV to 30 KeV monoenergetic, focused, pulsed sources ranging from 10-4 to 1010 nA-cm-2), ion fluxes (

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Included in

Physics Commons

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