Journal article

Hypervelocity dust impact craters on photovoltaic devices imaged by ion beam induced charge

Changyi Yang, Yiyong Wu, Gang Lv, Sergey Rubanov, David N Jamieson

NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION B-BEAM INTERACTIONS WITH MATERIALS AND ATOMS | ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV | Published : 2015

Abstract

Hypervelocity dust has a speed of greater than 5 km/s and is a significant problem for equipment deployed in space such as satellites because of impacts that damage vulnerable components. Photovoltaic (PV) arrays are especially vulnerable because of their large surface area and the performance can be degraded owing to the disruption of the structure of the junction in the cells making up the array. Satellite PV arrays returned to Earth after service in orbit reveal a large number of craters larger than 5 μm in diameter arising from hypervelocity dust impacts. Extensive prior work has been done on the analysis of the morphology of craters in PV cells to understand the origin of the micrometeo..

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