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Development and Application of Geospace Environment Simulator for the Analysis of Spacecraft–Plasma Interactions

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8 Author(s)
Usui, H. ; Res. Inst. for Sustainable Humanosphere, Kyoto Univ., Uji ; Miyake, Y. ; Okada, M. ; Omura, Y.
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Space development has been rapidly increasing, and a strong demand should arise regarding the understanding of the spacecraft-plasma interactions, which is one of the very important issues associated with the human activities in space. To evaluate the spacecraft-plasma interactions including plasma kinetics, transient process, and electromagnetic field variation, the authors have started to develop a numerical plasma chamber called Geospace Environment Simulator (GES) by making the most use of the conventional full particle-in-cell plasma simulations. For the development of a proto model of GES, the authors have used the Earth Simulator, which is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world. GES can be regarded as a numerical chamber in which space experiments can be virtually performed and temporal and spatial evolutions of spacecraft-plasma interactions can be analyzed. In this paper, the authors have briefly introduced GES in terms of its concept, modeling, and research targets. As one of the research topics of GES, the authors have investigated the impedance variation of electric field antenna onboard scientific satellites in the photoelectron environment in space. From the preliminary simulation results, the large change of reactance of the antenna impedance below the characteristic frequency corresponding to the local plasma frequency determined by the photoelectron density could be confirmed

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 5 )