STP-H5-Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5 ICE) - 06.20.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The harsh radiation and extreme temperatures of space can corrode the paint and coatings that protect spacecraft exteriors, potentially damaging a spacecraft’s hull. Optical coatings are also important for robotic and human navigators, who would rely on specialized markings to capture or repair spacecraft. The Space Test Program-H5-Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5 ICE) studies new coatings for use on spacecraft in low-Earth orbit, determining their stability after 2 years in space.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Mark Hasegawa, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Mark Hasegawa, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Information Pending

Developer(s)
Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2016 - August 2018; -

Expeditions Assigned
49/50,51/52,53/54,55/56,57/58,59/60

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The coatings evaluated in the Space Test Program-H5-Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5 ICE) investigation were developed to improve the thermal design, robotic camera recognition, and contamination control for various programs. Ground based testing using combined UV, atomic oxygen, and vacuum exposures are limited and may not accurately simulate the low Earth orbit environment; thus, the most effective way to determine the long duration effects of the space environment is to expose these coatings to the actual environment.
  • The STP-H5 ICE experiment exposes a set of eight new and two reference coatings to the low Earth orbit environment. Visual and photographic observations are made periodically to evaluate the optical and color stability of each of the coatings relative to the reference standard.
  • Observations made from the STP-H5 ICE investigation aids in the continued development of these coatings to ensure they will be stable in the space environment and meet their intended purposes. Coating formulations may be modified based on the results of these tests, and observations can be calibrated to ground based test results to aid in future environmental exposure evaluations.

Description
The Space Test Program-H5-Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5 ICE) investigation employs a set of simple exposure coupons that allow visual comparison of the effects of the low Earth orbit space environment to a well characterized white reference coating for this environment. Comparing photographs of these newly developed coatings to a white reference sample provides researchers information on the stability of the coatings. This information aids in the continued development of these coatings to insure they will be stable in the space environment and meet their intended purposes. The combined effects of UV radiation, vacuum, and atomic oxygen cannot be adequately simulated in our ground based test facilities, and so the most effective and accurate means to determine the effects of the space environment on coatings is to expose them on-orbit. The coatings evaluated in the ICE experiment were developed to improve the thermal design, robotic camera recognition, and contamination control for various programs. Next generation radiator coatings are whiter and help reduce radiator sizes and mass. New colored coatings are electrically dissipative and color stable such that remote robotic cameras can acquire and recognize ports for servicing of on-orbit satellites. New molecular adsorber coatings are capable of capturing contaminants to prevent fogging and obscuring of optics and mirrors. Low surface energy, super-hydrophobic coatings reduce particle contamination on surfaces.

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Applications

Space Applications
A spacecraft’s exterior coating protects against extreme temperatures, shields the spacecraft from radiation, prevents contamination, and guides cameras that help robots or humans capture and service the spacecraft. This investigation studies new coatings developed to improve camera recognition, thermal control, and contamination prevention. The investigation exposes eight new and two reference coatings to space for two years, and periodic photographs of the coatings will provide information about their stability. Results aid in continued development of these coatings to ensure they will work as designed.

Earth Applications
Ground-based testing using ultraviolet lighting, atomic oxygen and vacuum chambers are limited and might not accurately represent the harsh environment of low-Earth orbit. This investigation is necessary to prove the new coatings work in space as intended. Results improve protective coatings for spacecraft that benefit humans on Earth, from communications satellites to manned exploration vehicles.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
High Resolution images taken by the astronauts from inside the International Space Station are used to document the material degradation during its two years on orbit. Images are taken after initial deployment with images taken at a monthly or bi-monthly interval under approximately the same lighting conditions (times).
High Resolution images with the entire ICE strip in focus and in the image frame, taken under bracketed conditions for multiple, varying exposures at approximately the same lighting conditions on a monthly or bimonthly schedule.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery

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NASA Image: ISS050E052652 - Space Test Program-H5 (STP-H5). Photo taken during Expedition 50.

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image NASA Image: ISS054E004101 - Documentation of the Space Test Program - Houston5 - Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5-ICE) payload attached to ExPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Logistics Carrier-1 (ELC-1).
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image NASA Image: ISS054E004105 - Documentation of the Space Test Program - Houston5 - Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5-ICE) payload attached to ExPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Logistics Carrier-1 (ELC-1). ICE-1 strips are in view.
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image NASA Image: ISS054E004111 - Documentation of the Space Test Program - Houston5 - Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5-ICE) payload attached to ExPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Logistics Carrier-1 (ELC-1). ICE-1 strips are in view.
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image NASA Image: ISS054E004116 - Documentation of the Space Test Program - Houston5 - Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5-ICE) payload attached to ExPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Logistics Carrier-1 (ELC-1). ICE-2 strips are in view.
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image NASA Image: ISS054E004119 - Documentation of the Space Test Program - Houston5 - Innovative Coatings Experiment (STP-H5-ICE) payload attached to ExPRESS (Expedite the Processing of Experiments to Space Station) Logistics Carrier-1 (ELC-1). ICE-2 strips are in view.
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