Recent Developments in External Coatings for Spacecraft 660653
Newer concepts of thermal control coatings involving tailored optical properties are compared with the paints and coatings presently used on spacecraft. Emphasis is also given to evaluation and measurement techniques specifically dealing with the combined spatial environmental effects facility. Into a facility of the type both exposure and intermittant “in situ” optical measurements can be performed under an ultra high vacuum. A brief discussion of damage mechanisms is included along with a description of a computerized data retrieval system based on optical properties. Researchers in this aerospace field have high hopes for significant advances in the next several years through advanced materials and composites, “in situ” evaluation and measurement techniques, and computerized optical data retrieval for thermal control designers.