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A spacecraft charging study on the SCEX 3 rocket

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9 Author(s)
Mullen, E.G. ; Philips Lab., Hanscom AFB, MA, USA ; Gussenhoven, M.S. ; Hardy, D.A. ; Murphy, G.P.
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Instruments on the SCEX 3 rocket payload were used to study charging during electron beam emissions. The data show that electrostatic analyzers can be used to measure vehicle charging and direct beam return currents in dense plasma conditions. The data also show return current dependencies on pitch angle, beam current and beam energy. It is found that if the proper care is taken. ESAs can be used to detect charging on vehicles in low altitude (<400 km) orbits which are contaminated with high levels of outgassing and in dense plasma regimes. These results are particularly important for the TSS-1 electrodynamic tether program where ESAs are being used to determine Shuttle charging levels during tether employment and to look for high fluxes of directly returning electrons during electron generator operations to balance the Shuttle charging

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Nuclear Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 6 )