Breakthrough material can protect satellites from ultraviolet radiation and atomic oxygen in low-Earth orbit  February 16, 2021
Atomic oxygen is created when O2 molecules break apart, a process made easier in space because of the abundance of ultraviolet radiation affecting the structural integrity of space structures. An international team of researchers (UK, Germany) has developed a nano-barrier that bonds to the surface of polymer or composite materials, protecting them from erosion in low-Earth orbit without disrupting the functional performance of the space structure. The multilayered protection barrier deposited via a custom-built plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition system is designed to deposit all necessary layers without breaking vacuum to maximize the adhesion to the surface of the substrate and to ensure no pinhole erosion is present. In the multilayer solution, a moisture and outgassing barrier is coupled with an AO and UV capping layer to provide complete protection. This breakthrough technology is an enabler for extremely agile, high performance space borne radar missions. It offers higher flexibility in the acquisition as well as increasing the possible imaged area…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

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