27 Apr '12, 9pm
Supercritical CO2 Cleaning System for Planetary Protection and Contamination Control Applications
This system can be used for precision cleaning in optical and semiconductor applications. Current spacecraft-compatible cleaning protocols involve a vapor degreaser, liquid sonication, and alcohol wiping. These methods are not very effective in removing live and dead microbes from spacecraft piece parts of slightly complicated geometry, such as tubing and loosely fitted nuts and bolts. Contamination control practices are traditionally focused on cleaning and monitoring of particulate and oily residual. Vapor degreaser and outgassing bakeout have not been proven to be effective in removing some less volatile, hydrophilic biomolecules of significant relevance to life detection.