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Simulated Space Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) Exposure Testing for Polymer FilmsVacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation of wavelengths between 115 and 200 nm produced by the sun in the space environment can cause degradation to polymer films producing changes in optical, mechanical, and chemical properties. These effects are particularly important for thin polymer films being considered for ultra-lightweight space structures, because, for most polymers, VUV radiation is absorbed in a thin surface layer. NASA Glenn Research Center has developed facilities and methods for long-term ground testing of polymer films to evaluate space environmental VUV radiation effects. VUV exposure can also be used as part of sequential simulated space environmental exposures to determine combined damaging effects. This paper will describe the effects of VUV on polymer films and the necessity for ground testing. Testing practices used at Glenn Research Center for VUV exposure testing will be described including characterization of the VUV radiation source used, calibration procedures traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and testing techniques for VUV exposure of polymer surfaces.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Dever, Joyce A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Pietromica, Anthony J.
(Ohio Aerospace Inst. Brook Park, OH United States)
Stueber, Thomas J.
(DYNACS Engineering Co., Inc. Cleveland, OH United States)
Sechkar, Edward A.
(DYNACS Engineering Co., Inc. Cleveland, OH United States)
Messer, Russell K.
(Cleveland State Univ. Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2002
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2001-1054
NAS 1.15:211337
Meeting Information
39th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit(Reno, NV)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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