IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
A vacuum chamber was designed that simulates the space environment to facilitate tests of material modification due to space environment interactions. Critical environmental elements to be simulated include an ultra high vacuum, a FUV/UV/VIS/NIR solar spectrum, an electron plasma flux, temperature extremes, and long duration exposure. To simulate the solar electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), a solar simulator was used with a range of 200 nm to 2000 nm. A Krypton lamp provides surrogate radiation for the prominent far ultraviolet hydrogen Lyman-α 120 nm emission not produced by the solar simulator. A mono-energetic electron flood gun (20 eV to 15 keV) provides a controlled electron flux. Electron and EMS incident fluxes of up to four suns intensity at 95% uniformity across the full 100 cm2 sample surface are possible to reduce exposure time for accelerated testing. A temperature range from 100 K to 450 K is achieved using an attached cryogenic reservoir and resistance heaters. The versatile sample holder and radiation mask allow for cost-effective, customizable investigations of multiple small- scale samples under diverse conditions. In situ monitoring capabilities allow measurements to be taken at frequent intervals during the course of the exposure cycle, while the samples are still under vacuum. An automated data acquisition system monitors and records the temperature, pressure, electron, and EMS fluxes. Calibrated reflectivity, absorptivity, and emissivity of the samples can be measured using in situ integrating sphere and IR absorptivity/emissivity probes.
Robert H. Johnson, Lisa D. Montierth, JR Dennison, James S. Dyer, and Ethan Lindstrom, “Small Scale Simulation Chamber for Space Environment Survivability Testing,” IEEE Trans. on Plasma Sci., 41(12), 2013, 3453-3458. DOI: 10.1109/TPS.2013.2281399