Accession Number : ADA262859


Title :   Electrostatic Charging of Spacecraft in Geosynchronous Orbit


Descriptive Note : Technical memorandum


Corporate Author : DEFENCE RESEARCH AGENCY FARNBOROUGH (UNITED KINGDOM)


Personal Author(s) : Sims, Andrew J


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a262859.pdf


Report Date : 17 Dec 1992


Pagination or Media Count : 171


Abstract : This Memorandum is a study of the spacecraft charging phenomenon applicable to satellites in geosynchronous orbit. Differential charging of spacecraft surfaces can induce electrostatic discharges which may manifest themselves as 'operational anomalies' or permanent damage to surface features such as solar cells and thermal control surfaces. Understanding of the problem is achieved via laboratory experiments, analysis of data from spacecraft instrumentation and by numerical simulation. Long-term statistical studies are presented for the location of plasma boundaries at geostationary altitude and for the occurrence frequency and intensity of geomagnetic substorms which permits the probability of severe charging conditions to be predicted for future missions. Laboratory experiments are used to demonstrate the importance of bulk and surface conductivity of dielectric materials to the charging process and a sensitivity analysis is employed to investigate the detailed interaction between the plasma environment and spacecraft surface materials. Finally, a study and simulation of charging events observed in geosynchronous orbit is presented.


Descriptors :   *ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES , *ELECTROSTATIC CHARGE , *MAGNETOSPHERE , *SPACECRAFT CHARGING , MATHEMATICAL MODELS , COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION , FREQUENCY , GEOMAGNETISM , SPACECRAFT , DAMAGE , EARTH ORBITS , CONDUCTIVITY , INTERACTIONS , PLASMAS(PHYSICS) , PROBABILITY , DIELECTRICS , INTENSITY , THESES , SENSITIVITY , METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITES , SURFACES , MAGNETIC STORMS , CONTROL SURFACES , SPACE CHARGE , ELECTROSTATICS , ALTITUDE , INSTRUMENTATION , ELECTRON BEAMS , SOLAR CELLS


Subject Categories : Atmospheric Physics
      Electricity and Magnetism
      Unmanned Spacecraft


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE