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Spacecraft charging, an update

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2 Author(s)
Garrett, H.B. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Whittlesey, A.C.

Twenty years after the landmark SCATHA program, spacecraft charging and its associated effects continue to be major issues for Earth-orbiting spacecraft. Since the time of SCATHA, spacecraft charging investigations were focused primarily on surface effects and spacecraft external surface design issues. Today, however, a significant proportion of spacecraft anomalies are believed to be caused by internal charging effects (charging and ESD events internal to the spacecraft Faraday cage envelope). This review will, following a brief summary of the state of the art in surface charging, concentrate on the problems introduced by penetrating electrons (“internal charging”) and related processes (buried charge and deep dielectric charging). With the advent of tethered spacecraft and the deployment of the International Space Station, low altitude charging has taken on a new significance as well. These and issues tied to the dense, low altitude plasma environment and the auroral zone will also be briefly reviewed

Published in:

Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Dec 2000

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