Accession Number:

ADP005706

Title:

Radiation Charging and Breakdown of Insulators,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ERA TECHNOLOGY LTD LEATHERHEAD (ENGLAND)

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1987-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

7.0

Abstract:

An experimental investigation of the charge produced by photo-emission from insulators in vacuo is described. It is shown that the emission from materials commonly used in spacecraft construction, such as polyimide, is well described by solid state theory but that externally applied fields modify both the emission dynamics as well as the eventual saturation charge density. The energetics of the electrical breakdown of such charged surfaces is analysed. Surface discharges can, of course, cause degradation of the quality of the insulation through erosion, puncture or formation of electrically conductive, carbonised tracks, producing concomitant reduction in electrical system performance. These processes, which result directly from chemical interaction or indirectly, thermally, are reviewed and means of minimising the effects discussed. Avenues of further investigation are outlined.

Subject Categories:

  • Electricity and Magnetism

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE