We have been implementing a project for the European Space Agency (ESA) since January. We have been selected as a subcontractor of Creotech Instruments S.A. to carry out a research and development project whose aim is to develop a device for contactless removal of molecular contamination from the surface of satellite components before sending them into space. Creotech is responsible for developing the general concept of the device, its mechanical parts and sub-systems related to the feeding and collection of the cleaning agent. Our task is to produce the cleaning agent and to perform the necessary analyses – both of the cleaned surface and the collected contaminants.
Requirements set by ESA are very difficult to meet, and the device would replace the methods used so far, based on the use of aggressive chemicals, with the use of water with gas nanobubbles. Due to the need to avoid secondary contamination of the surface by cleaning agent residues (e.g., stains), we intend to use the so-called ultrapure water and gas subjected to multistage filtration.
The preliminary design work, constituting the content of the first stage, was accepted by ESA during the System Requirements Review (SRR), and we proceeded to the implementation of the second stage, in which we will design laboratory testing facilities.