Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

American Physical Society Four Corner Section Meeting

Publication Date

Fall 10-2015


The Space Survivability Test chamber is a new ground-based research instrument being used for accelerated testing of environment-induced modifications of diverse samples. The chamber simulates space environment conditions, including neutral gas atmospheres and vacuum (<10-5 Pa) environments, temperature (~100 K to >450 K), ionizing radiation, electron fluxes (<10 eV to ~2½ MeV), and vacuum ultraviolet through mid-infrared photon fluxes. This versatile test chamber is well-suited for cost-effective testing of complete systems up to the size (< 20 cm dia.) of a 1U CubeSat, smaller components or electronics, and individual material samples. Multiple in-flux or in-situ space survivability and radiation exposure tests can be performed simultaneously, as well as extensive before and after ex-situ tests. Currently the chamber is performing a series of radiation experiments using a Sr90 beta radiation source which approximately mimics the geostationary high energy electron spectra at ~4-10X accelerated rates. These measurements will serve to forecast sample radiation damage, predict lifetimes of electronics, and substantiate the ability of the chamber to mimic space environments. Specific tests include: modified efficiency of solar arrays; single event upsets and failure of commercial off-the shelf microcontrollers, memory, and sensors; structural damage and modifications of mechanical and electrical properties; changes in electron transport and arcing of materials; and modification of optical properties of glasses and polymeric materials.