The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The design, development and initial testing of a hypervelocity atomic oxygen source for space simulation

Kinnersley, Mark Andrew (1989) The design, development and initial testing of a hypervelocity atomic oxygen source for space simulation University of Southampton, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Doctoral Thesis , 265pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Atomic Oxygen is the dominant atmospheric specie at low earth orbit altitudes for spacecraft orbiting the earth. This altitude range of atomic oxygen dominance extends from 120 km to 900 km. Other species such as helium, molecular oxygen and nitrogen make up the bulk of the rest with the densities corresponding to high to ultrahigh vacuum levels. Spacecraft orbiting at this altitude need to travel at a velocity of 8 km/sec to maintain orbit and therefore spacecraft encounter a high fluence of impinging rarefied atmosphere in a short time period. This gas-surface interaction has several effects which affect the space vehicle. They include aerodynamic drag, surface reaction and surface glow. The need to model these effects on spacecraft surfaces has resulted in the design, development and construction of an advanced facility to simulate these L.E.O. atmospheric effects. This facility utilizing an arc heated source can produce high energy species of the common atmospheric species at a velocity of up to 4.5 km/sec with fluxes comparable to orbit. This particular type of source is unique in Europe with two similar types reported in the U.S.A. Considerable effort was expended in optimizing the source for atomic oxygen production via beam characterization and stagnation condition measurement. This has enabled the radial and axial temperature profiles in the source to be deduced, thus providing a clearer idea of the processes in the source and therefore benefits future users of this technique. In addition, alternative routes of producing atomic oxygen were pursued via nitrous oxide and nitrous oxide/nitrogen seeding. Extensive work on developing reliable beam characterization equipment resulted in the comparison of two methods of beam analysis. This involved the development of a new method of beam mass/energy analysis, which has several advantages over current instruments. Conclusions are made on the suitability of mass spectroscopic detection of reactive specie beams. Finally, atomic oxygen degradation tests were pursued on a variety of surfaces including the polyimide Kapton-H. It was concluded from these tests that Kapton-H erosion has a form of energy dependence, with an energy threshold to erosion of approximately 0.5 eV. The erosion rate above this energy rises rapidly to rates comparable to those of orbit. The Southampton results agree reasonably with the very few results on Kapton-H in this energy range. This has important implications on spacecraft material design.

PDF 000762.PDF - Other
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (14MB)

More information

Published date: June 1989
Organisations: University of Southampton, Aerodynamics & Flight Mechanics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 52255
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/52255
PURE UUID: 459dc46a-3f66-404d-ab22-92dcfb3f13b9

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Aug 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:43

Export record

Contributors

Author: Mark Andrew Kinnersley
Thesis advisor: J.P.W. Stark

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×