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Capabilities of the Materials Contamination Team at Marshall Space Flight CenterThe Materials Contamination Team at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has been recognized for its contributions supporting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) spacecraft development programs. These programs include the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM), Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and the International Space Station (ISS). The Environmental Effects Group, with the Materials Contamination Team and the Space Environmental Effects Team has been an integral part of NASA's success by the testing, evaluation, and qualification of materials, hardware, and processes. This paper focuses on the capabilities of the Materials Contamination Team. The Materials Contamination Team's realm of responsibility includes establishing contamination control during all phases of hardware development, including design, manufacturing, assembly, test, transportation, launch site processing, on-orbit exposure, return, and refurbishment. The team continues its mission of reducing the risk of equipment failure due to molecular or particulate contamination. Contamination is a concern in the Space Shuttle with sensitive bond-lines and reactive fluid (liquid oxygen) compatibility as well as for spacecraft with sensitive optics, such as Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory. The Materials Contamination Team has a variety of facilities and instrumentation capable of contaminant detection, identification, and monitoring. The team addresses material applications dealing with environments, including production facilities, clean rooms, and on-orbit exposure. The optically stimulated electron emission (OSEE) system, the Ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence (UVF) surface contamination detection, and the Surface Optics Corporation 400 (SOC 400) portable hand-held Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer are state-of-the-art tools for in-process molecular contamination detection. The team of engineers and technicians also develop contamination calibration standards and evaluate new surface cleanliness inspection technologies. The team utilizes facilities for on-orbit simulation testing of materials for outgassing and molecular film deposition characteristics in the presence of space environmental effects, such as Atomic Oxygen (AO) and UV radiation exposure. The Materials Contamination Team maintains databases for process materials as well as outgassing and optical compatibility test results for specific environments.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Burns, Howard (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Albyn, Keith (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Edwards, David (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Boothe, Richard (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Finchum, Charles (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Finckenor, Miria (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Quality Assurance and Reliability
Meeting Information
Contamination of Optical Equipment Workshop(Noordwijk)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.