Plasma Conditions During the Galaxy 15 Anomaly and the Possibility of ESD from Subsurface Charging (Postprint)
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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We review the fundamentals of spacecraft structure, surface and deep-dielectric charging and investigate the environmental conditions and possible spacecraft interactions at the time of the Galaxy 15 anomaly on April 5, 2010. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites GOES 14 measurements of 30-600 keV electron fluxes associated with an ongoing geomagnetic substorm showed extremely elevated electron temperatures and densities coincidentally peaking near the time when Galaxy 15 exited eclipse. NASCAP-2k is used to model absolute and differential charging effects on a generic satellite similar to Galaxy 15. Tables of electron and proton stopping power are used to calculate deep-dielectric charging from penetrating charged particles prior to the anomaly. Finally, we discuss the possibility that the Galaxy 15 anomaly may have been due to electrostatic discharge ESD as a result of surface andor internal charging and recommend possible design considerations that might mitigate the occurrence of ESD on future spacecraft even under extreme environmental conditions.
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics
- Unmanned Spacecraft