OFFSET VOLTAGES OF LANGMUIR PROBES IN THE IONOSPHERE.
Scientific rept. no. 3, Jan-Oct 64,
CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC AND SPACE PHYSICS UNIV OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK
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Bipolar Langmuir probes display a voltage offset in their volt-ampere characteristics when immersed in the ionospheric plasma. The dependence of the equilibrium potential as a function of probe scale, ambient charge density and high energy tail in the electron energy distribution is examined. It is concluded that the offset arises from geometric considerations and is strongly influenced by all of the above factors. The observed altitude dependence is qualitatively explained in terms of vehicle velocity and precessional motion. Author