This chapter uses an active space mission as well as current and ongoing research work to showcase the role of ion beams in the advancement of space science and technology. It uses the mission objectives of the ZACUBE-2 space mission developed at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, South Africa, to predict the space environment it will encounter when in orbit. These predictions are then used to show how ion beam parameters for single event effect testing are selected, and how trade-offs are made to achieve a cost effective use of beam time. An experiment is detailed, showcasing the role of ion beams in the investigation of the shielding capabilities of coatings obtained from the pulsed laser ablation of W2B5/B4C for solar panel applications in space. The results of this experiment show that indeed this is a potential shield capable of reducing solar panel degradation due to low energy protons. By using ZACUBE-2 and coatings made from W2B5/B4C, this chapter takes a practical and current approach to demonstrate the central role played by ion beams in advancing space technology. More importantly, it eases the conversation between the satellite and the ion beam communities.
Part of the book: Ion Beam Applications