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Designing a Decontamination Solution for the Low-Earth-Orbit, Cryogenic SPHEREx Mission

Show simple item record Alred, John M. Moore, Bradley D. Susca, Sara Penanen, Konstanin I. Ricchiuti, Valentina Rocca, Jennifer M. Soares, Carolos E. 2022-03-16T02:52:16Z 2022-03-16T02:52:16Z 2021-03-06
dc.identifier.citation 2021 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 6-13, 2021
dc.identifier.clearanceno CL#21-0890
dc.description.abstract To address the scientific goals of NASA’s astrophysics division, the JPL and Caltech’s SPHEREx mission conducts the first near-infrared all-sky spectral survey in low-earth-orbit using a passively-cooled, cryogenic telescope. Several unique water contamination issues arise due to the combination of cryogenic operation temperatures and the limited temperature control authority of passive cooling. Because water molecules have adsorption bands within the wavelengths of interest for SPHEREx’s survey, it is imperative that water contamination be controlled and minimized. In this work, a model is developed for the SPHEREx mission to predict the transport and accumulation of outgassed water onto sensitive payload components. The model utilizes the time dependent thermal profiles of the individual payload components, initial water content, and spacecraft geometry to calculate the time dependent water diffusion, transport, and adsorption. This model is subsequently used to predict water contamination risks and design decontamination solutions for each risk. Two major water contamination risks were predicted, water accumulation during cooldown and on cryogenic surfaces during the mission. The first risk occurs during the cooldown of the payload to cryogenic temperatures, predicting water accumulation on optical surfaces in excess of the allowable levels. To mitigate this accumulation, the temperature of the optical surfaces is controlled during cooldown through a combination of heaters and spacecraft pointing. The second risk is that over the course of the mission, is unavoidable water accumulation onto the payload thermal system’s cryogenic surfaces, possibly jeopardizing thermal performance and temperature stability, both of which are required for science success. To decontaminate any water that had collected onto cryogenic thermal system surfaces, a decontamination maneuver was designed. In this decontamination maneuver, cryogenic surfaces of the thermal system are warmed to a temperature where water will desorb by spacecraft pointing while still meeting all avoidance constraints, and thereby avoiding undue risk to the observatory hardware. Through application of the developed analytical model and inclusion of the decontamination maneuver in the mission design, SPHEREx can confidently demonstrate that it is able to decontaminate, at the start of and during the mission as needed to meet its end of life science performance requirements.
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2021
dc.title Designing a Decontamination Solution for the Low-Earth-Orbit, Cryogenic SPHEREx Mission
dc.type Preprint

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