SPIE Laser Damage
The growth of laser-induced contamination (LIC) on optical components in extraterrestrial missions is a known issue especially for the UV spectral region. The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. is responsible for the development of a pulsed laser-system operating at a wavelength of 266 nm for the ExoMars mission and for the qualification of used optics and materials regarding LIC. In this context, toluene was utilized which is an often used model contaminant in LIC studies. Test cycles based on the application of the two UV wavelengths 355 nm and 266 nm on fused silica substrates and AR-coated optics are conducted and the observed contamination effects are compared. This scaling allows for a rough estimate of the destructive influence of LIC on space optics degradation at 266 nm. Further tests will be performed with materials integrated into the ExoMars-laser-head under near-operation environmental conditions.