Thick Dielectric Charging on High-Altitude Spacecraft,
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA SPACE SCIENCES LAB
Pagination or Media Count:
Thick dielectric charging, in which energetic electrons embed within bulk dielectrics and build up to potentials in excess of the breakdown potential of the dielectric, is shown to be a causative factor in the anomalous operation of high altitude satellites. Results of laboratory studies are reviewed and a table of maximum expected electron fluxes in orbits of various altitude is presented. The combination of maximum expected electron fluxes and the small energy associated with a bulk dielectric breakdown permits the elimination of bulk charging as a spacecraft problem through the minimal shielding 400 mgsq cm of all cables and circuit boards otherwise exposed to the environment, and through the desensitizing of digital logic inputs that are serviced by cables.
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Unmanned Spacecraft