An Investigational Technique for the Behavior of a Contaminated Optical Surface in the Near Ultraviolet-Visible-Near Infrared

  • W. Walding MooreJr.
  • Philip W. Tashbar
  • George L. Burns


In recent years there has been considerable interest in the variation of optical element properties in the environment of earth orbital space. This has primarily occurred due to the requirements of astronomical researchers, since orbiting optical observatories could potentially contribute so much to this science. One of the presently active efforts to generate an investigation capability in this area is associated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Apollo Telescope Mount (ATM) Program.1 Since about mid 1966, one particular area of optical property variation has been actively investigated. This is the potential problem of optical degradation of sophisticated optical systems due to spacecraft efuences.2–5 This degradation would occur through one of two mechanisms6: (a) particulates in a suspended (vapor) state of various size distributions producing spurious scattering of light, and/or (b) direct degradation by deposition (or condensation) of particulate contaminants onto critical optics by physical adsorption. This latter process could be followed by polymerization reactions and chemical adsorption due to solar uv irradiation.


Investigational Technique Particulate Contaminant Contamination Study Critical Optic Optical Degradation 
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  1. 1.
    Scientific Experiments for the Apollo Telescope Mount; Space Sciences Laboratory; TND-5020; 1969; Huntsville Ala.Google Scholar
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    D. G. McPherson, Ball Brothers Research Corporation, Boulder, Colo., Apollo Telescope Mount Extended Applications Study Program; ATM Contamination Study Task IV; Final Report, Contract No. NASW-1386, 10 March 1967.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. R. Sawyer, Denver, Colo.; Potential AAP Cluster or Apollo Contamination Monitor in Support of ATM; Contract NASS-21175; Martin Marietta Report MCH-68–78, March 1968.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Dr. B. A. Sodek, Brown Engineering, a Teledyne Company, Huntsville, Ala.; ATM Optical Contamination Study; Interim Report SSL-27579–1; Contract AS8–20166, 12 January 1968.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Spacecraft Optical Environment Contamination Program Plan; Space Sciences Laboratory; MSFC, 5 May 1967.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    W. W. Moore, Jr., P. W. Tashbar, W. L. Prince, Literature Research on Optical Contamination; Preliminary Status Report; NASA Memorandum for Record; 4 November 1966.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. H. deBoer, The Dynamical Character of Adsorption ( Oxford at the Clarendon Press, London, 1953 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Walding MooreJr.
    • 1
  • Philip W. Tashbar
    • 1
  • George L. Burns
    • 2
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryGeorge C. Marshall Space Flight CenterHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Brown Engineering CompanyHuntsvilleUSA

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