50 Years, 50 Articles



Riccardo Rampini, Delphine Faye


Spacecraft Contamination Control


Lessons learned have shown that the risk of damage and performance loss of sensitive surfaces on spacecrafts due to molecular and/or particulate contamination had to be considered as a real concern. Nowadays, more and more stringent constraints of quality and reliability require contamination control at different steps during the development of a satellite. In Europe, to satisfy these specifications a set of normative references has been established in the frame of the European Cooperation on Space Standardization (ECSS) in order to harmonize the rules between the various industrial partners and space agencies at national and international levels. These documents are updated periodically to take into account new needs in the spacecraft contamination control policy. In this paper, we will introduce the joint effort between the different organizations, not only at Europain level, in terms of space standardization. Then, we will focus on the European Cooperation on Space Standardization ECSS-Q-70 branch, related to space product assurance and especially on the last issues of the cleanliness standards for space critical components. Finally, in order to illustrate how these cleanliness standards have to be applied, we will describe the global approach of a spacecraft contamination control programme and remind of some useful guidelines for each development, phase of a spacecrall from design to launch.


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