A short document discusses an investigation of materials for photogrammetry targets for highly sensitive optical scientific instruments to be operated in outer space and in an outer-space-environment-simulating thermal vacuum chamber on Earth. A key consideration in the selection of photogrammetry-target materials for vacuum environments is the need to prevent contamination that could degrade the optical responses of the instruments. Therefore, in addition to the high levels and uniformity of reflectivity required of photogrammetry-target materials suitable for use in air, the materials sought must exhibit minimal outgassing.

Commercially available photogrammetry targets were found to outgas excessively under the thermal and vacuum conditions of interest; this finding prompted the investigators to consider optically equivalent or superior, lower-outgassing alternative target materials. The document lists several materials found to satisfy the requirements, but does not state explicitly whether the materials can be used individually or must be combined in the proper sequence into layered target structures. The materials in question are an aluminized polyimide tape, an acrylic pressure-sensitive adhesive, a 500-Å-thick layer of vapor-deposited aluminum, and spherical barium titanate glass beads having various diameters from 20 to 63 μm.

This work was done by Jason N. Gross, Henry Sampler, and Benjamin B. Reed of Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-15373-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the August, 2011 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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