IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
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. Some samples, particularly those exposed to atomic oxygen in the ram direction, showed pronounced effects due to exposure. Biased samples for the charge-enhanced contamination study showed subtle variations in visible and infrared reflectivity.
JR Dennison, Amberly Evans, Danielle Fullmer, and Joshua L. Hodges, “Charge Enhanced Contamination and Environmental Degradation of MISSE-6 SUSpECS Materials,” IEEE Trans. on Plasma Sci., 40(2), 254-261 (2012). DOI: 10.1109/TPS.2011.2178104