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Atomic Oxygen Exposure Systems

 

1. Introduction

Resonance Ltd. has developed systems to expose spacecraft materials to thermal atomic oxygen and VUV-UV light that simulates low earth orbit conditions. Oxygen atoms are produced upstream from the exposure chamber by radio frequency dissociation of O2. Atomic oxygen concentrations to 10^15 atoms/cm^3 can be generated with the high power RFX-500 generator.

This is comparable to an atomic oxygen flux of roughly 2x10^16 cm^2/sec (equivalent 5 eV atomic flux measured with Kapton dosimeter)。 The oxygen density profile across the material sample can be measured in-situ with the Resonance Ltd。 Atomic Oxygen Density Profiler using the technique of resonance absorption。 Resonance also provides light sources from 30 to > 1,000 nm that simulate the solar spectrum。 The Atomic Oxygen Density Profiler and Solar Simulator Sources can be easily adapted to existing atomic oxygen exposure systems。 AO systems from Resonance have been used by Canadian Space Agency, by Stanford University, University of Tokyo, Los Alamos.

 

   

2. Features:

Simulates Low Earth Orbit Erosion

Samples exposed to continuous stream of thermal Oxygen atoms

 

High Flux

Atomic oxygen fluxes up to 3 x 10^19 atoms/cm2/sec

 

Quick Turn Around

Measurable erosion of Kapton by weight loss in ½ hour Typical sample exposure time is 2 hours

 

Solar Simulation

Calibrated Solar simulation using VUV UV and Visible light sources and detectors

 

No Interferents

Samples are downstream from active plasma and are not exposed to uncontrolled ions, metastables or UV radiation as in plasma ashers

 

In-Situ Atomic Oxygen Density Profile

Atomic oxygen density profile is measured by resonance absorption of VUV line

 

Thermal Controlled Sample Holder

Sample holder can be heated to increase erosion rate. Thermal- vacuum cycling of the sample is also available.

3. Parts:

The system has 5 major parts:

 

1.            An AO source that uses a 13 MHz RF generator to break up molecular oxygen in a coated quartz tube.

 

2.            An illumination system with VUV, UV and Visible Light Sources for simultaneous solar and AO exposure.

 

3.            A Chamber and sample table (thermal control and a motorized sample wheel can be added as an option)

 

4.            An Atomic Absorption Spectrometer that measures the AO right above the sample

 

5.            An oil free Vacuum pumping system

 

6.            A electronic control and data acquisition system with software

 

 

4. Specifications:

Atomic Oxygen Exposure Chamber System

(AO-EC)

 

 

High Speed Oil Free Pumping System

(P-24)

Compact Oil Free Pumping System

(P-8)

High Power RF Atomic Oxygen Generator

(RFX-500)

Basic RF Atomic Oxygen Generator

(RFX-90)

VUV-UV Solar Simulator

(VUV-UV-SS)

Irradiance Profiler

IP

Atomic Oxygen Absorption System

(AO-AS)

Atomic Oxygen Density Profiler

(AO-DP)

Atomic Oxygen Treatment System

ATOMS - C

Atomic Oxygen Treatment System

ATOMS - S

Atomic Oxygen Treatment System

ATOMS –SX

 

Electrical /Optical Specifications:

Specification

Minimu

m

Typical

maximum

units

Pressure

1e-5

1e-1

10

millibars

Density of AO above sample

1e10

 

2e13

 

Mean velocity of AO normal to sample

 

4e4

 

Cm/sec

AO flux on sample at 1 mb

1e16

1e17

2e18

Atoms per cm2 per

second

Adjustable range of RF power

5

100

300

RF watts

Frequency of RF generator

 

13

 

MHz (industrial band)

Cooling air fan for RF generator

 

10

 

CFM

AO light source intensity

 

2e13

 

Photons per second

AO light source wavelength

 

130

 

NM

AO Density precision

 

5%

 

 

 

Chamber dimensions

Fits in 50 cm cube

Pump dimensions

40 x 40 x 60 cm high

Electronics dimensions

PC supplied along with control electronics in a 19 rack mount inch x 150 mm high

enclosure

Weight

Less than 100 Kg

Max Power requirements

650 Watts 100 to 240 V 50/60 Hz

Software supplied

LabView-Based (National Instruments) for PC under Windows XP

 

 


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