This paper describes the use of Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Functions (BSDF) to quantify surface degradation, thus providing an effective method for contamination monitoring.
This approach to contamination monitoring is based on the use of witness surfaces (mirrors or glass slides) located next to the critical surfaces. Contaminant accretion can be monitored during all phases of spacecraft fabrication, assembly, and testing. The method can be applied in other areas of contamination control such as monitoring of clean room environments. The BSDF can also prove extremely useful in establishing contamination control requirements and acceptability criteria. This paper describes the apparatus adopted to perform BSDF measurements and discusses some practical aspects of data collection. The results obtained in contamination monitoring programs performed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are presented. Some possible new applications of this monitoring technique are also addressed.