Interferometry

Measurement of the accumulation of water ice on optical components in cryogenic vacuum environments

[+] Author Affiliations
Trevor M. Moeller

University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 B.H. Goethert Parkway, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388

L. Montgomery Smith

University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 B.H. Goethert Parkway, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388

Frank G. Collins

University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 B.H. Goethert Parkway, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388

Jesse M. Labello

University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 B.H. Goethert Parkway, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388

James P. Rogers

University of Tennessee Space Institute, 411 B.H. Goethert Parkway, Tullahoma, Tennessee 37388

Heard S. Lowry

Arnold Engineering Development Complex, 1077 Schriever Avenue, Arnold AFB, Tennessee 37389

Dustin H. Crider

Arnold Engineering Development Complex, 1077 Schriever Avenue, Arnold AFB, Tennessee 37389

Opt. Eng. 51(11), 115601 (Nov 02, 2012). doi:10.1117/1.OE.51.11.115601
History: Received July 27, 2012; Revised September 26, 2012; Accepted September 27, 2012
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Abstract.  Standard vacuum practices mitigate the presence of water vapor and contamination inside cryogenic vacuum chambers. However, anomalies can occur in the facility that can cause the accumulation of amorphous water ice on optics and test articles. Under certain conditions, the amorphous ice on optical components shatters, which leads to a reduction in signal or failure of the component. An experiment was performed to study and measure the deposition of water (H2O) ice on optical surfaces under high-vacuum cryogenic conditions. Water was introduced into a cryogenic vacuum chamber, via a hydrated molecular sieve zeolite, through an effusion cell and impinged upon a quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM) and first-surface gold-plated mirror. A laser and photodiode setup, external to the vacuum chamber, monitored the multiple-beam interference reflectance of the ice-mirror configuration while the QCM measured the mass deposition. Data indicates that water ice, under these conditions, accumulates as a thin film on optical surfaces to thicknesses over 45 microns and can be detected and measured by nonintrusive optical methods which are based upon multiple-beam interference phenomena. The QCM validated the interference measurements. This experiment established proof-of-concept for a miniature system for monitoring ice accumulation within the chamber.

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© 2012 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Trevor M. Moeller ; L. Montgomery Smith ; Frank G. Collins ; Jesse M. Labello ; James P. Rogers, et al.
"Measurement of the accumulation of water ice on optical components in cryogenic vacuum environments", Opt. Eng. 51(11), 115601 (Nov 02, 2012). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.51.11.115601


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