Accession Number:

ADA202621

Title:

Spacecraft Charge as a Source of Electrical Power for Spacecraft

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1988-11-01

Pagination or Media Count:

108.0

Abstract:

This thesis examines the suitability of spacecraft charge, collected at geosynchronous altitude, as a source of electrical power for spacecraft. An analytical plasma probe model is used to describe the flux of charged particle currents on two isolated conductive hemispheres of a spacecraft. Surface potentials are evaluated for both a body-stabilized and spin-stabilized spacecraft under average and worst case plasma conditions. A discharge current is simulated, between differentially charged surfaces, to examine the current flow required to balance the surface potentials. This current approximates the maximum current flow available from the spacecraft charge. The results show that surface potential differences can be large in in worst case plasma conditions, but the current available is too small to be useful as a power source. The discharge current does scale up in proportion to spacecraft surface area exposed to the plasma however, the design of large conductive spacecraft surfaces is a problem in itself. Theses.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE