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Outgassing of Flown and Unflown MIR Solar CellsA solar panel array with more than ten years space exposure was removed from the Mir core module in November 1997, and an eight panel section was returned to Earth in January 1998. Several solar cells were removed from panel eight of the returned array and placed in a high vacuum system with a residual gas analyzer (200 amu mass spectrometer) and a cold finger. Similar unflown solar cells of the same vintage were later obtained from Energia. Several of the unflown cells were also placed in the vacuum system and outgassed residues were collected on the LN2 cold finger. Almost 3 mg of outgassed residue was collected -from a string of three unflown solar cells over a period of 94 hours under vacuum. The collected residue was weighed with a microbalance, and then the residue was analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy, and by gas chromatograph-mass spectroscopy. About 25 outgassed constituents were separated by the gas chromatograph, and a high-resolution mass spectrum was obtained of each constituent. Molecular identifications have been made for the constituents. The constituents are primarily cyclic siloxanes, and several of the constituents are isomers of the same molecule. Most of the outgassed constituents have a molecular mass of about 500 amu. Almost one mg of residue was extracted from one sq cm of coverglass/adhesive from a flown solar cell by soaking in isopropyl alcohol for 30 minutes. The gas chromatograph separated about 20 constituents. The constituents are mostly cyclic siloxanes with linear branches, hydrocarbons, and phthalates. The typical molecular mass is about 600 amu. These identifications of specific outgassing molecules have resulted in a more complete understanding of the SiO(x) contamination on the Mir solar cell coverglasses, and on the MEEP experiment trays and optical specimens during the Shuttle-Mir Phase One flight experiment program. Adjusted outgassing rates based on the data reported here, and/or measured outgassing rates and specific molecular identifications of ISS hardware samples are needed to input into model predictions of induced environment effects of the ISS.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Harvey, Gale A.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Kinard, William H.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA United States)
Wilson, Linda A.
(Middle Tennessee State Univ. Murfreesboro, TN United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 2000
Publication Information
Publication: Twenty-first Space Simulation Conference: The Future of Space Simulation Testing in the 21st Century
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Meeting Information
Space Simulation Conference: The Future of Space Simulation Testing in the 21st Century(Annapolis, MD)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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