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SAGE III/ISS Contamination Monitoring Package: Observations in OrbitThe Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment III (SAGE III) telescope and instrument assembly employ the methods of solar occultation and lunar occultation to retrieve near-global vertical profiles of atmospheric ozone, water vapor, nitrogen dioxide, aerosol extinctions, and other gaseous species and atmospheric state parameters.

The SAGE III grating spectrometer measures light within the spectral range of 280 nm to 1037 nm at approximately 1 nm resolution, but retrievals in the Ultraviolet (UV) are particularly sensitive to contamination of the optical train. Therefore, a contamination door that contains a quartz optical window can be closed over the telescope aperture during periods of enhanced external contaminant flux. This optically transparent window permits continued science event acquisition at an acceptably diminished signal-to-noise ratio, which is expected to decline with ongoing accretion of contaminant material. To date, this impact has been short term, and science quality through the window returns to baseline performance after a contamination source is removed and spontaneous desorption removes material from the low-affinity quartz surface. Two Contamination Monitoring Packages (CMPs) consisting of eight Thermoelectric Quartz Crystal Microbalances (TQCMs) from QCM Research provide characterization and redundant monitoring of contaminant deposition from the 2pi steradian solid angle on the payload side of the Expedite the Processing of Experiments to the Space Station (ExPRESS) Payload Adapter. CMP data are closely examined by the SAGE III team to determine when the contamination door should remain closed during science events and in what direction the instrument assembly scan head should stow when not acquiring science measurements. Additionally, should the CMPs indicate an unacceptable accretion rate, the flight computer will close the contamination door as part of the automatic fault detection system. Along with spectrometer measurements of the quartz window's transmission, the payload CMPs enable auditing of the mission contamination budget. The process of Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) can be used to help identify chemical constituents accreted on the CMP sensors. To be presented here along with an explanation of the CMP systems are the first two and a half years of observations of the contaminant deposition environment around the payload in quiescence and during special events like docking vehicles.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Langley Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Tyler T Dawson
(Science Systems and Applications (United States) Lanham, Maryland, United States)
Charles A Hill
(Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia, United States)
Amy F Rowell
(Langley Research Center Hampton, Virginia, United States)
Kevin R Leavor
(Science Systems and Applications (United States) Lanham, Maryland, United States)
Sophia A Hawley
(Universities Space Research Association Columbia, Maryland, United States)
Date Acquired
May 8, 2020
Publication Date
June 5, 2020
Publication Information
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: 21606.CL2.WP4.D013.0E
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
NASA Technical Management
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