Using solar cells as micro-particle detectors in low earth orbit

Shrine, Nick R.G. and Taylor, E.A. and Yano, Hajime and Griffiths, Andrew D. and McDonnell, J.A.M. (1996) Using solar cells as micro-particle detectors in low earth orbit. In: Maclay, Timothy D. and Allahdadi, Firooz A., eds. Characteristics and Consequences of Orbital Debris and Natural Space Impactors. Spie - Int Soc Optical Engineering, pp. 76-87. ISBN 0-8194-2201-0. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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On retrieval from Low Earth Orbit (LEG), the solar arrays from the European Retrievable Carrier(EuReCa) and one solar array wing of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) were inspected for micrometeoroid and space debris impact damage. 703 and 814 impact sites respectively were analysed in detail. Interpretation of particle parameters from this large data set can yield a useful measurement of the micrometeoroid and debris flux in LEG. Due to similar orbital parameters, this then provides a flux measurement complimentary to those measured by the Timeband Capture Cell Experiment (TiCCE) of the EuReCa spacecraft and detectors and exposed surfaces on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF). To allow comparison of data from the space retrieved solar cells to previous data, solar cell material, glass and aluminium targets were impacted for inter-calibration using the University of Kent's Light Gas Gun (LGG). An average of 20 impact sites on each target material per shot were measured. It was decided to consider only non-perforations of the 150 micron thick CMX cover glass, common to both EuReCa and HST solar cells. Trends in crater morphology of the laboratory impacts are discussed and compared to those from space impacts. The effects of impact angle and crater scaling with particle size are investigated and a conversion from appropriate solar cell crater parameters to the ballistic limit in aluminium is presented.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: solar cell; hypervelocity impact; meteoroid; debris; brittle; glass; spacecraft; flux
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Science Technology and Medical Studies > School of Physical Sciences > Optics
Depositing User: P. Ogbuji
Date Deposited: 27 May 2009 09:18
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2014 10:30
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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