Magnetospheric and Ionospheric Impact of Large-Scale Space Transportation with Ion Engines.
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CALIF IVAN A GETTING LABS
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Future large-scale space missions with payloads of or 10 million Kg or 10,000 tons, such as the proposed Solar Power Satellite and Space Colonization, will probably require deep-space transportation systems based on the high specific-impulse ion engine. We note in this paper that the ion exhaust emissions corresponding to the proposed large payloads required for such missions may introduce basic modifications in the composition and dynamics of the ionosphere and magnetosphere. We identify some effects that such modifications may induce upon other spacesystems such as earth sensors, radiation belt dosage environment and signal scintillation due to beam-plasma interactions. We find that, because the space environment is tenuous, there is an interaction of sorts among such large-scale space systems and other earth-oriented space systems. The architectural design of such large-scale systems must take into account not only the efficient functioning of their primary mission objectives but also their influence upon the operations of other space systems. Author
- Electric and Ion Propulsion