1990-07-01

Studies of the Interaction of 8 km/s Oxygen Atoms with Selected Materials 901411

The technique of laser-induced gas breakdown is used to generate a high flux pulsed beam of 8 km/s oxygen atoms. The beam contains approximately 1018 oxygen atoms per pulse, can be operated at a frequency as high as 10 Hz and be expanded to encompass an area >1000 cm2. The beam is used to simulate the interactions between the ambient atmosphere and spacecraft materials to be encountered in low earth orbit applications. The device and its operating characteristics will be described and example results on material erosion, surface modification, and surface glow will be presented.

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