NASA Technology Protects Webb Telescope from Contamination

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Thermal Coatings Engineer Nithin Abraham places a MAC row during a really bottom of a Chamber A where a Webb telescope will be tested. Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

Thermal Coatings Engineer Nithin Abraham places a MAC row during a really bottom of a Chamber A where a Webb telescope will be tested.
Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn

Contamination from organic molecules can mistreat ethereal instruments and engineers are holding special caring during NASA to forestall that from inspiring a James Webb Space Telescope (and all satellites and instruments). Recently, Nithin Abraham, a Thermal Coatings Engineer placed Molecular Adsorber Coating or “MAC” panels in a hulk cover where a Webb telescope will be tested.

This decay can start by a routine when a fog or fragrance is issued by a substance. This is called “outgassing.” The “new automobile smell” is an instance of that, and is diseased for people and supportive satellite instruments. So, NASA engineers have combined a new approach to strengthen those instruments from a deleterious effects of decay entrance from outgassing.

The Molecular Adsorber Coating (MAC) is a NASA Goddard coatings record that was grown to adsorb or entice outgassed molecular contaminants for spaceflight applications,” pronounced Nithin Abraham, Thermal Coatings Engineer during NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. MAC is now portion as an innovative decay slackening apparatus for Chamber A operations during NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

MAC can be used to keep outgassing from entrance in from outward areas or to constraint outgassing directly from hardware, components, and within instrument cavities.

In this case, MAC is assisting by capturing outgassed contaminants outward a exam cover from inspiring a Webb components. MAC is approaching to constraint a outgassed contaminants that exist in a space of a opening cover (not from a Webb components). 

“Although we can't stop contaminants within a opening cover from outgassing, we can try to constraint them with MAC before it tries and reaches a costly hardware, that are housed inside a exam chamber,” Abraham said.

In May 2015, several exam panels mist coated with MAC were tradition designed and built for use in Chamber A in credentials for a attainment of a James Webb Space Telescope’s initial Optical Ground Support Equipment (OGSE-1).

“The MAC panels were commissioned in really vital locations within Chamber A to constraint opening cover decay imagining from determined sources, such as silicone siphon oil excess and hydrocarbons,” Abraham said.

Some silicone formed contaminants are famous to outgas and widespread easily, even during ambient temperatures, and are intensely formidable to mislay and clean. The use of MAC panels during a OGSE-1 exam would reduce a decay risk and forestall these damaging outgassed components from migrating and depositing onto rarely supportive Webb telescope visual hardware surfaces during testing.

The walls of a cover have a matte finish, that give them a mocking coming of looking unclean, given gripping contaminants out is critical. Some areas in a cover also have markings that prove where there’s been rubbing from a apparatus that has somewhat varnished a surface.

The new, patent-pending sprayable paint that adsorbs these gaseous molecules and stops them from affixing to instrument components was combined by a group during NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Made of zeolite, a vegetable widely used in attention for H2O catharsis and other uses, and a colloidal silica folder that acts as a glue holding a cloaking together, a new molecular adsorber is rarely permeable and porous — attributes that trap a outgassed contaminants.

Webb will be tested in “Chamber A,” a thermal-vacuum exam trickery during NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Chamber A is now a largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical exam cover in a world, and done famous for contrast a space capsules for NASA’s Apollo mission, with and but a goal crew. It is 55 feet (16.8 meters) in hole by 90 feet (27.4 meters) tall. The doorway weighs 40 tons and is non-stop and sealed hydraulically.

Source: NASA