Assessment of molecular contamination on the BepiColombo MMO spacecraft



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


44th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The influence of the molecular contaminants (MOC) accumulating on the thermal control surface as well as the optical elements was assessed for the BepiColombo MMO (Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter). The outgassing and decomposing properties were measured for the dominant outgassing materials according to ASTM-E1559 at low temperatures. The high temperature outgassing property, photo-deposition efficiency and absorption coefficient were obtained by a dedicated experiment. The high temperature evaporation property of deposited MOC was measured using temperature programmed desorption mass spectrometry (TPD-MS). The simulation of the MOC transport was conducted to predict the MOC thickness and the increase in the solar absorptivity on the MMO surface. The temperature prediction taken the degradation of thermo-optical property into account is also shown.


Tucson, Arizona