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The Space Survivability Test Chamber
American Physical Society Four Corner Section Meeting
  • Katie Gamaunt, Utah State University
  • Heather Tippets
  • Alex Souvall, Utah State University
  • Ben Russon, Utah State University
  • JR Dennison, Utah State Univesity
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The Space Survivability Test chamber is a new ground-based research instrument being used for accelerated testing of environment-induced modifications of diverse samples. The chamber simulates space environment conditions, including neutral gas atmospheres and vacuum (<10-5 Pa) environments, temperature (~100 K to >450 K), ionizing radiation, electron fluxes (<10 eV to ~2½ MeV), and vacuum ultraviolet through mid-infrared photon fluxes. This versatile test chamber is well-suited for cost-effective testing of complete systems up to the size (< 20 cm dia.) of a 1U CubeSat, smaller components or electronics, and individual material samples. Multiple in-flux or in-situ space survivability and radiation exposure tests can be performed simultaneously, as well as extensive before and after ex-situ tests. Currently the chamber is performing a series of radiation experiments using a Sr90 beta radiation source which approximately mimics the geostationary high energy electron spectra at ~4-10X accelerated rates. These measurements will serve to forecast sample radiation damage, predict lifetimes of electronics, and substantiate the ability of the chamber to mimic space environments. Specific tests include: modified efficiency of solar arrays; single event upsets and failure of commercial off-the shelf microcontrollers, memory, and sensors; structural damage and modifications of mechanical and electrical properties; changes in electron transport and arcing of materials; and modification of optical properties of glasses and polymeric materials.

Citation Information
Katie Gamaunt, Heather Tippets, Alex Souvall, Ben Russon, et al.. "The Space Survivability Test Chamber" American Physical Society Four Corner Section Meeting (2015)
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