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Low Earth Orbit Environmental Durability of Recently Developed Thermal Control CoatingsThe Materials International Space Station Experiment provided a means to expose materials and devices to the low Earth orbit environment on the exterior of the International Space Station. By returning the specimens to Earth after flight, the specimens could be evaluated by comparison with pre-flight measurements. One area of continuing interest is thermal control paints and coatings that are applied to exterior surfaces of spacecraft. Though traditional radiator coatings have been available for decades, recent work has focused on new coatings that offer custom deposition or custom optical properties. The custom deposition of interest is plasma spraying and one type of coating recently developed as part of a Small Business Innovative Research effort was designed to be plasma sprayed onto radiator surfaces. The custom optical properties of interest are opposite to those of a typical radiator coating, having a combination of high solar absorptance and low infrared emittance for solar absorber applications, and achieved in practice via a cermet coating. Selected specimens of the plasma sprayed coatings and the solar absorber coating were flown on Materials International Space Station Experiment 7, and were recently returned to Earth for post-flight analyses. For the plasma sprayed coatings in the ram direction, one specimen increased in solar absorptance and one specimen decreased in solar absorptance, while the plasma sprayed coatings in the wake direction changed very little in solar absorptance. For the cermet coating deployed in both the ram and wake directions, the solar absorptance increased. Interestingly, all coatings showed little change in infrared emittance.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Jaworske, Donald A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
May 19, 2015
Publication Date
May 1, 2015
Subject Category
Inorganic, Organic And Physical Chemistry
Chemistry And Materials (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 686034.01.03.05
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Optical Properties
Solar Energy Absorbers

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