1994-06-01

Investigation of Different Surface Coatings Exposed to Low Earth Orbit Environment During EURECA and D2 Missions 941514

Surface materials exposed to low earth orbit environment for a prolonged time will be attacked by ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen. In combination with frequent thermal cycling the materials may change their structural and thermo-optical properties due to degradation and erosion resulting in an alteration of the initial surface morphology and chemistry.
The stability of the materials can at best be investigated by direct exposure to the environment on a spacecraft. For this reason material exposition experiments (AOST and AOET) were organized on the European Retrievable Carrier EURECA and on the German SPACELAB D2 mission, respectively.
This paper describes the thermal control coatings and the structural protective coatings investigated and the degradation results due to low earth orbit exposure

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