Skip navigation links
Atomic-Oxygen-Durable Microsheet Glass Reflector
Advanced solar dynamic concentrator concepts being considered by the NASA Lewis Research
Center for space power systems include one utilizing microsheet glass coated with silver. For this
material, a 5000-angstrom layer of silver is deposited on the back side of a contoured piece of
microsheet glass, 0.2-mm thick. The silvered side is then bonded to a contoured aluminum,
magnesium, or graphite epoxy face sheet with a space-qualified, pressure-sensitive thin-film
adhesive. Experience gained from the development of this technology suggests that this material
may reduce the cost and improve the performance of solar dynamic concentrators. This
microsheet glass technology provides an effective barrier to atomic oxygen attack and provides
the opportunity to utilize silver-reflective coatings in low-Earth-orbit solar dynamic applications.
Reflected image in a microsheet glass reflector bonded
to a graphite epoxy composite face sheet.
Forming the microsheet glass was found to be a challenge. A collaborative effort was initiated
with experts in the automotive industry, and a proprietary forming process was developed. The
microsheet glass could be formed to the complex curved shapes needed for solar dynamic
concentrators, but the degree of curvature had to be gradual.
The second-surface silver mirror created by this technique is lightweight, durable, easily cleaned,
and has a total reflectivity of 94 percent. No debonding of the microsheet glass composite
structure was indicated after vacuum exposure and thermal cycling between -80 and 80 C, and
after atomic oxygen exposure, only minor deterioration of the reflective surface, limited to
regions near the edges and seams was evident. The overall mass per unit area was 2.5
This technology enables the use of silver as a reflective coating in the low-Earth-orbit atomic
oxygen environment. Using silver, rather than other materials, as a reflector will increase the
overall efficiency of proposed solar dynamic power systems.
Lewis contact: Donald A. Jaworske, (216) 433-2312
Headquarters program office: OSAT
Table of Contents
Last updated April 17, 1996
Responsible NASA Official:
Point of contact for NASA Glenn's Research & Technology reports:
Web page curator:
Wyle Information Systems, LLC