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Atomic Oxygen Effects on Spacecraft MaterialsLow Earth orbital (LEO) atomic oxygen cannot only erode the external surfaces of polymers on spacecraft, but can cause degradation of surfaces internal to components on the spacecraft where openings to the space environment exist. Although atomic oxygen attack on internal or interior surfaces may not have direct exposure to the LEO atomic oxygen flux, scattered impingement can have can have serious degradation effects where sensitive interior surfaces are present. The effects of atomic oxygen erosion of polymers interior to an aperture on a spacecraft is simulated using Monte Carlo computational techniques. A 2-dimensional model is used to provide quantitative indications of the attenuation of atomic oxygen flux as a function of distance into a parallel walled cavity. The degree of erosion relative is compared between the various interior locations and the external surface of an LEO spacecraft.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Banks, Bruce A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Miller, Sharon K. R.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
deGroh, Kim K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Demko, Rikako
(Cleveland State Univ. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2003
Subject Category
Atomic And Molecular Physics
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:212484
Meeting Information
Ninth International Symposium on Materials in a Space Environment(Noordwijk)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 22-755-60-05
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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