UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


Contamination and Bioburden Control

The AIT engineering group are responsible for the contamination control engineering, monitoring and management of space flight hardware. As part of the space flight hardware contamination control, contamination monitoring forms a significant and crucial part of this.

The AIT engineering group has a range of contamination monitoring equipment that is used on a daily basis, these being:

  • Ingenious Systems MK5-6 Particle fallout photometer instrument: This system is used to monitor the particulate fallout onto space flight hardware during all phases of the hardware assembly, integration and test campaign, both in vacuum and ambient conditions.
  • Agilent Carey 630 FTIR instrument: This system is used to monitor the molecular contamination deposition onto flight hardware during all phases of the assembly, integration and test campaign both in vacuum and in ambient conditions.
  • Climet CI-450 Airborne particle counter: This instrument is used to monitor cleanroom background particle levels.
  • MKS Spectra Microvision plus 200F Residual Gas Analyser (RGA): A number of these instruments are incorporated into the MSSL vacuum test systems to analyse and determine the vacuum outgassing contamination, up to 200 atomic mass units, during space flight hardware testing in vacuum systems.
  • MKS Spectra Microvision plus 300F Residual Gas Analyser: As with the 200 atomic mass unit range RGA but with a range up to 300 atomic mass units.
  • CrystalTek 15 Mhz temperature controlled quartz crystal microbalance (TQCM) and Cryogenic controlled quartz crystal microbalance (CQCM): These instruments are used to measure the outgassing product of flight hardware as mass unit per surface area (typically g/cm2 ). These instrument have a mass sensitivity of 2 x 10-9 g/cm2/Hz.