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Development of Multi-Utility Spacecraft Charging Analysis Tool (MUSCAT)

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11 Author(s)
Takanobu Muranaka ; Japan Aerosp. Exploration Agency, Sagamihara ; Satoshi Hosoda ; Jeong-Ho Kim ; Shinji Hatta
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A new numerical software package to analyze spacecraft charging, named ldquomulti-utility spacecraft charging analysis toolrdquo (MUSCAT), has been developed. MUSCAT consists of an integrated graphical user interface tool called ldquoVineyardrdquo and the solver. Vineyard enables satellite engineers to compute spacecraft charging with little knowledge of the numerical calculations. Functions include 3-D satellite modeling, parameter input such as material and orbit environment, data transfer, and visualization of numerical results. Fundamental physical processes of charged-particle-surface interaction are included in the solver. These functions enable MUSCAT to analyze spacecraft charging at geostationary orbit, low Earth orbit, and polar Earth orbit (PEO). The numerical solver code is parallelized for high-speed computation, and the algorithm is optimized to achieve analysis of large-scale PEO satellite in the design phase. Variable time steps are also used to calculate the rapid change of the spacecraft body potential and the gradual change of the differential voltage in a single simulation with a practical number of iterations. In this paper, the functionality, algorithms, and simulation examples of MUSCAT are presented.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:36 ,  Issue: 5 )