Electrically Conductive Thermal Control Coating
Small Business Information
111 Downey Street, Norwood, MA, 02062
AbstractThe electrical conductivity of anodized aluminum thermal control coating will be enhanced by deposition of an electronically conductive metal oxide within the anodic oxide pores. The electrical charge that might otherwise accumulate on its surface in the ambient space plasma will leak off through the coating. This will prevent structural damage from sputtering of the alloy substrate at coating breaks, and minimize electrical noise. The improved coating is a nanocomposite, consisting of an optically transparent electronically conductive metal oxide deposited within the pores of the anodic alumina and on the coating surface. The filled pores result in low transverse resistivity and the surface coating provides efficient coupling between conductive pores and the space plasma. In Phase I, we will developed electrodeposition processes for nanocomposite coatings with resistivity and optical properties suitable for use as electrically conductive thermal control coatings. In Phase II the coating performance in space environment will be evaluated, process scale-up and engineering aspects of process development will be addressed, and basic studies in support of these efforts as well as to improve coating properties will be pursued.
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