Characterization of Spacecraft Materials Using Reflectance Spectroscopy

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Abstract: Materials interact with light in unique manner due to their individual elemental composition. Elements emit different light energies that fall within the electromagnetic spectrum, therefore corresponding to a specified wavelength per element. The reflectance spectrum produced for a given material is advantageous toward the characterization of orbital debris and can be measured using reflectance spectroscopy. Materials commonly used in aerospace design, such as aluminum alloys, stainless steels, ceramics, silicone paints, and solar cells, have been substantially characterized using reflectance spectroscopic techniques. An Analytical Spectral Device (ASD) was utilized to perform characterization on spacecraft and rocket body structures by producing a spectrum relatively unique to a material from its properties in response to light. The spectrum results of related materials are presented in the subsequent work to enhance current data of interest within aerospace and orbital debris communities.

Authors: Jacqueline A. Reyes, Heather Cowardin, and Darren Cone

Keywords: Reflectance Spectroscopy, Orbital Debris, Material Characterization

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Page Count

10 pages

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