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The subthermal neutron radiography capability of the Petten High Flux Reactor (HFR) has been employed as a non-destructive inspection technique in an attempt to explain the burn marks that were discovered during the post flight visual inspection of the Hubble Space Telescope solar array. In comparison to X- and gamma-rays, neutrons penetrate heavy metals much more easily, whilst at the same time imaging low density materials containing hydrogen very well. This technique therefore reveals different details and images. The evaluation of the burn marks, as shown on the neutron radiographs, revealed that less material is present in these areas. The neutron radiograph of the burn mark on the inner buffer assembly also shows materials displacement, i.e. a concentration of silver and adhesive in certain areas outside the burn mark, possibly caused by the gas pressure generated during the burning process. The standard X-ray image does not show these details.

Additional information

Authors: MARKGRAF J F W, JRC Petten (NL);VIOLIN F, JRC Petten (NL);LEEFLANG H P, Netherlands Energy Research Foundation (ECN), Petten (NL);GERLACH L, European Space Agency, ESTEC, Noordwijk (NL)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Hubble Space Telescope Solar-Array Workshop, Noordwijk (NL), May 30-31, 1995
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 39126 ORA
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