Digital Repository, Convegno IGF XVI Catania 2002

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M. Palmisano Romano

Last modified: 2008-05-26


It is known that damaging effects, caused by space environment (neutral gas, plasma, radiation and debris), influence mechanical, optical and thermal performances of exposed space structures or critical spacecraft system (solar array, optical instrument and termal control system) and can cause the structural failure of the spacecraft. For this reason in the parameter of mission plan it is important to hold account the progressive degradation due to the action of several environment factors. In this work, the behaviour of solar cells in a radiation environment has been described. The wide range of electron and proton energies present in the space environment necessitates some method of describing the effects of various types of radiation in terms of a radiation environment which can be produced under laboratory conditions. In summary, the omnidirectional space radiation is converted to a damage equivalent unidirectional fluence at a normalised energy and in terms of a specific radiation particle. This equivalent fluence will produce the same damage as that produced by omnidirectional space radiation considered if the relative damage coefficient is properly defined to allow the conversion. When the equivalent fluence is determined for a given space environment, the parameter degradation can be evaluated in the laboratory by irradiating the solar cell with the calculated fluence level of unidirectional normally incident flux. The equivalent fluence is normally expressed in terms of 1 MeV electrons or 10 MeV protons.

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