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Attenuation of Scattered Thermal Energy Atomic OxygenThe attenuation of scattered thermal energy atomic oxygen is relevant to the potential damage that can occur within a spacecraft which sweeps through atomic oxygen in low Earth orbit (LEO). Although there can be significant oxidation and resulting degradation of polymers and some metals on the external surfaces of spacecraft, there are often openings on a spacecraft such as telescope apertures, vents, and microwave cavities that can allow atomic oxygen to enter and scatter internally to the spacecraft. Atomic oxygen that enters a spacecraft can thermally accommodate and scatter to ultimately react or recombine on surfaces. The atomic oxygen that does enter a spacecraft can be scavenged by use of high erosion yield polymers to reduce its reaction on critical surfaces and materials. Polyoxymethylene and polyethylene can be used as effective atomic oxygen scavenging polymers.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Banks, Bruce A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Seroka, Katelyn T.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
McPhate, Jason B.
(California Univ. Berkeley, CA, United States)
Miller, Sharon K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
June 12, 2011
Subject Category
Nonmetallic Materials
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
10th International Conference, Protection of Materials and Structures from Space Environment (ICPMSE-10J)(Okanawa)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 825080.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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