Abstract

Final results from a part of the T027 experiment that was performed on the first Skylab mission are presented. The sample array system containing 248 optical surfaces and exposed outside the orbital workshop did not collect any significant contaminants. Unfortunate performance compromises and the relative cleanliness of the assembly on the antisolar side placed the amount of available surface contaminants at or below the limiting sensitivity of the ground measuring instruments. However, significant contamination was seen near the extravehicular hatch quadrant on the solar side of the orbiting assembly, and some results from returned samples are presented. Optical windows and mirrors exposed on the Gemini 12 mission showed degradation up to 35% in the uv wavelength region and solar absorptance increases up to 1.8 times the clean values. An expression for the attenuation coefficient vs wavelength is presented. The contaminant, a silicone base material, varied in thickness from 22 nm to 88 nm. The postflight scattered luminance of a contaminated Gemini 12 left-hand spacecraft hatch window was used to obtain threshold stellar visibility curves as a function of scattered and incident sunlight angles.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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