Microparticle impacts upon HST solar cells

Graham, G. A.; Kearsley, A. T.; Drolshagen, G.; McBride, N.; Green, S. F. and Wright, I. P. (2001). Microparticle impacts upon HST solar cells. Advances in Space Research, 28(9) pp. 1341–1346.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0273-1177(01)00408-2


Analysis of individual solar cells removed from the returned array from the Hubble Space Telescope have yielded results on the residue chemistry of material preserved in impact features within the 1-3500μm size range. The initial survey of impact craters in the 100–3500μm size range identified that micrometeoroids were the dominant precursor chemistry. The second survey of impact features between 1–100μm identified space debris as the prevailing precursor chemistry. The categories of space debris remnants observed in this size range were dominated by aluminium and aluminium oxide chemistries indicative of solid rocket motor fuel debris. The results from the residue chemistry surveys have now been compared with a prediction derived from LDEF data and meteoroid modelling, and there is general agreement between the modelling and actual observations.

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