Real-time space materials degradation monitor using ellipsometer

Hassanayn Machlab, R. A. Synowicki, Steven P. Ducharme, Paul G. Snyder, John A. Woollam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


NASA has a need for a simple, low-cost, compact, lightweight and rugged instrument to monitor materials degradation in the atomic oxygen (AO) environment of low Earth orbit (LEO). The purpose of the reported SBIR contract work was to build a space-fly able ellipsometer to meet these needs. The small modulation ellipsometer (SME) built uses polarization modulation and an arrangement of optical elements permitting simultaneous and continuous measurement of the ellipsometric parameters without reference to external calibration or to elaborate alignment procedures. This ellipsometer directly measures the most significant errors in system alignment that perhaps might occur at initial construction or during space launch. This ellipsometer contains no moving parts, requires only low electrical power, can work in vacuum conditions, and could be flight-qualified to be operable in space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpace Programs and Technologies Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781623565244
StatePublished - 1995
EventSpace Programs and Technologies Conference, 1995 - Reston, United States
Duration: Sep 26 1995Sep 28 1995

Publication series

Name1995 Space Programs and Technologies Conference


OtherSpace Programs and Technologies Conference, 1995
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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