Containerless Coating Processes for Large Space Structures

by L. D. Stephenson, US Army Construction Engineering, Research Lab, United States,
A. Smith, US Army Construction Engineering, Research Lab, United States,
V. F. Hock, US Army Construction Engineering, Research Lab, United States,
J. M. Rigsbee, US Army Construction Engineering, Research Lab, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space

Abstract: Large space structures (LSS) in low earth orbit (LEO) must be able to withstand the deleterious effects of in situ ultraviolet radiation, atomic oxygen, and thermal-cycling-induced microcracking. Protective coatings to be applied in space using containerless coating technology can be expected to mitigate these problems. Such coating systems are based on exploitation of the inherent vacuum levels available in LEO by employing any combination of metal vapor deposition, ion and neutral beam implantation, or ion beam mixing techniques. A series of proof-of-concept containerless coating experiments are being planned for space flight in the early 1990's. It is believed that the space-based containerless coating techniques to be developed from those experiments will eventually play a major role in the construction, maintenance, and repair of previously erected/deployed military space structures.

Subject Headings: Coating | Space structures | Space frames | Beams | Orbits | Field tests | Ultraviolet radiation | Oxygen

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