Contamination Control

High performance optical and thermal control systems are easily susceptible to performance degradation caused by contamination. SDL integrates contamination control processes at every level of technology development by deriving cleanliness requirements and integrating contamination control features during system design, carefully selecting optimal materials, implementing appropriate clean room practices during integration and test, collecting and analyzing samples or validating contamination budgets, and assessing the on-orbit performance for potential contamination impacts.


  • Define and validate cleanliness budgets for major sensor programs
  • Support in-house and external customer programs
  • Apply digital image processing for full characterization of microscopic particle distributions
  • Modeling
    • Spectral attenuation by molecular films
    • Effects of particulate fallout on optical performance
    • On-orbit degradation predictions
    • Spacecraft charging
  • Materials characterization
    • ASTM E595 (%TML & %CVCM)
    • ASTM E1559 (outgassing kinetics)
    • Thermal gravimetric analysis
    • X-ray fluorescence screening
    • Microscopy lab
    • Spectral reflectance and transmittance of optical materials
  • Cleanliness certifications
    • ISO 14644-1 (clean rooms)
    • IEST-STD-CC1246D (sample analyses)
    • Outgassing and offgassing analyses
    • Quartz crystal microbalances
    • Chemical identification via infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry
    • Non-volatile residue (NVR) and particulate sampling kits



Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer

The WISE cryogenically-cooled infrared telescope provided a complete stellar infrared map more than 1,000 times more detailed than previous surveys.


Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry

SABER, a 10-channel infrared (1.27 to 16.9 ┬Ám) radiometer, is one of four instruments on NASA's TIMED mission, which is dedicated to study the dynamics of the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere (MLT) portion of the Earth's atmosphere.