Post flight operational support is available
and T & M Engineering routinely supports NASA/KSC on post STS missions.
Post flight assessments of spacecraft and systems involves wipe
analysis of surfaces and fallout/deposition detection.
Wipe analysis involves
taking wipes of payload areas using "opti-cloth" cotton wipe material
subjected to Soxhlet extraction with Methylene Chloride. The wipes
are moistened with a triple distilled mixture of 1,1,1 trichlorethane
and ethanol. The mixture is harmless to all surfaces that constitute
spacecraft and removes only surface contamination. This solvent
has been used on numerous spacecraft flown by NASA and ESA. FTIR
analysis of the residue determines the chemical species detected
on the wipes. The fallout and deposition detectors are used during
payload de-integration, as with EuReCa and SFU, where payloads are
processed prior to shipping. The detectors are places in and around
the payloads/spacecraft, in the clean rooms and shipping containers.
The services and detectors offered are:
- Passive detectors/witness plates
- VUV mirrors
- Au/Cu surfaces
- cellulose discs (gridded)
- black glass mirrors
Recently T & M Engineering conducted the contamination
assessment for SFU post retrieval and the first micrometeoroid and
debris survey of SFU whilst in the KSC OPF and at the Astrotech
Facility, Florida, prior to processing and shipping back to Japan.
T & M Engineering fallout and deposition detectors were also placed
in the shipping container for the sea journey back to Japan.
Contamination monitors used for SFU Contamination