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ESD Ground Test of Solar Array Coupons for a Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite in PEO

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9 Author(s)
Toyoda, K. ; Kyushu Inst. of Technol., Kitakyushu ; Masui, H. ; Muranaka, T. ; Mengu Cho
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An electrostatic discharge test was carried out on a solar array paddle (SAP) for the Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) on a simulated polar Earth orbit (PEO) environment. To simulate the spacecraft charging conditions in a PEO with an auroral band, when electrons with higher energy than LEO plasma flow to the Earth, three conditions of dielectric charging can be considered on each side of the SAP. At first, the threshold voltage differences of discharge inception were measured experimentally using solar array coupons simulating both the beginning and the end of life under six charging conditions. Next, the Multiutility Spacecraft Charging Analysis Tool was employed to analyze the spacecraft surface potential and the time needed for charging. From the threshold value and the charging analysis, the probability and the number of discharges were estimated in each charging condition during a lifetime of the GOSAT. Finally, the performance of the coupons against discharges was evaluated for each charging condition. All coupons had no sustained arc during these tests; however, there was some electrical degradation of the solar cell. The power degradation during the lifetime of the GOSAT was estimated from these results, and the design of the solar array coupon was confirmed to satisfy the power demand even if the estimated number of discharges occurs in the lifetime.

Published in:

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

Date of Publication:

Oct. 2008

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