Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
This report summarizes the senior project entitled Degradation of Solar Cells Due to Arcing in a Vacuum Chamber. The goal of this experiment was to show electrical and physical degradation of silicon solar cells in a vacuum chamber. The cells were characterized and then placed in a vacuum chamber. Under vacuum, a potential was created to induce arcing to the cell. The cell was characterized again after arcing to determine the change in efficiency. This document details the process for designing the circuit to create the arcing, and the different setups used to degrade the cells electrically and physically. It also describes the final setups to be used in the lab write-up for the Aerospace Engineering Department’s Spacecraft Environment Laboratory.