Missions in low Earth orbit below about 1000 km need to be designed to resist atomic oxygen. To help with this, ESA's is offering SMEs, academia and national institutes the opportunity to test their spacecraft materials and assemblies using the "LEOX" simulator based at ESA's Technical centre in the Netherlands.
The deadline for proposals is 31 May 2019.
LEOX simulates the near-Earth space environment by generating atomic oxygen at energy levels that are equivalent to an orbital speed of 7.8 km/s.
Tests can last from hours to days and are carried out in the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory, one of a suite of laboratories at ESA–ESTEC.
Analytical equipment within the laboratory will also be available to investigators for sample analysis.
For this first pilot announcement, ESA shall cover the cost of facility operation (including certain preparatory steps) and routine sample analysis for selected proposals. All other costs are to be borne by the experimenters.
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