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Vacuum deposited optical coatings experiment (AO 138-4)The aim of this experiment was to test the optical behavior of 20 components and coatings subjected to space exposure. Most of them are commonly used for their reflective or transmittive properties in spaceborne optics. They consist in several kind of metallic and dielectric mirrors designed for the 0.12 to 10 microns spectrum, UV, and NIR bandpass filters, visible, and IR antireflecting coatings, visible/IR dichroic beam splitters, and visible beam splitter. The coatings were deposited on various substrates such as glasses, germanium, magnesium fluoride, quartz, zinc selenide, and kanigened aluminum. Several coating materials were used such as Al, Ag, Au, MgF2, LaF3, ThF3, ThF4, SiO2, TiO2, ZrO2, Al2O3, MgO, Ge, and ZnSe. Five samples of each component were manufactured. Two flight samples were mounted in such a way that one was directly exposed to space and the other looking backwards. The same arrangement was used for the spare samples stored on ground in a box identical to the flight one and they were kept under vacuum during the LDEF mission. Finally, one set of reference components was stocked in a sealed box under a dry nitrogen atmosphere. By comparing the preflight and postflight optical performances of the five samples of each component, it is possible to detect the degradations due to the space exposure.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Charlier, Jean
(MATRA Service Aerodynamique Velizy-Villacoublay, France)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: NASA, Langley Research Center, First LDEF Post-Retrieval Symposium Abstracts
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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