Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging: Spacecraft Interactions with Space Plasmas

Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging: Spacecraft Interactions with Space Plasmas

by Shu T. Lai

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Overview

As commercial and military spacecraft become more important to the world's economy and defense, and as new scientific and exploratory missions are launched into space, the need for a single comprehensive resource on spacecraft charging becomes increasingly critical. Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging is the first and only textbook to bring together all the necessary concepts and equations for a complete understanding of the subject. Written by one of the field's leading authorities, this essential reference enables readers to fully grasp the newest ideas and underlying physical mechanisms related to the electrostatic charging of spacecraft in the space environment.

Assuming that readers may have little or no background in this area, this complete textbook covers all aspects of the field. The coverage is detailed and thorough, and topics range from secondary and backscattered electrons, spacecraft charging in Maxwellian plasmas, effective mitigation techniques, and potential wells and barriers to operational anomalies, meteors, and neutral gas release. Significant equations are derived from first principles, and abundant examples, exercises, figures, illustrations, and tables are furnished to facilitate comprehension. Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging is the definitive reference on the physics of spacecraft charging and is suitable for advanced undergraduates, graduate-level students, and professional space researchers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691129471
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 11/06/2011
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Shu T. Lai is currently a visiting scientist at the Space Propulsion Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a senior editor for IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was formerly a senior physicist at the Space Weather Center of Excellence, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

Prologue: The Earth's Space Plasma Environment

P.1 The Solar Wind xiii

P.2 The Magnetosphere xiii

P.3 Geomagnetic Substorms xiii

P.4 Plasma Density xv

P.5 The Ionosphere xvi

P.6 The Auroral Region xvi

P.7 The Radiation Belts xviii

P.8 Relevance of the Space Plasma Environment to Spacecraft Charging xviii

P.9 References xx





Chapter 1: Introduction to Spacecraft Charging

1.1 What Is Spacecraft Charging? 1

1.2 What Are Some Effects of Spacecraft Charging? 2

1.3 How Does Spacecraft Charging Occur? 4

1.4 Capacitance Charging 5

1.5 Other Currents 6

1.6 Where Does Spacecraft Charging Occur? 6

1.7 Exercises 9

1.8 References 10





Chapter 2: The Spacecraft as a Langmuir Probe
2.1 Orbit-Limited Attraction 11

2.2 Current Collection in Spherical Geometry 12

2.3 Current Collection in Cylindrical Geometry 13

2.4 Current Collection in Plane Geometry 13

2.5 Remarks 14

2.6 Boltzmann's Repulsion Factor 14

2.7 Child-Langmuir Saturation Current 15

2.8 Exercises 16

2.9 References 17





Chapter 3: Secondary and Backscattered Electrons
3.1 Secondary Electron Emission 18

3.2 Backscattered Electrons 20

3.3 Total Contribution of Electron Emissions 20

3.4 Remarks 22

3.5 Dependence on Incident Angle 22

3.6 Remarks on Empirical Formulae 23

3.7 Exercises 23

3.8 References 24





Chapter 4: Spacecraft Charging in a Maxwellian Plasma

4.1 Velocity Distribution 25

4.2 Critical Temperature for the Onset of Spacecraft Charging: Physical Reasoning 26

4.3 Balance of Currents 26

4.4 Charging Level 29

4.5 Equation of Current Balance in the Orbit-Limited Regime 30

4.6 Comparison with Real Satellite Data 31

4.7 Exercises 32

4.8 References 33





Chapter 5: Spacecraft Charging in a Double Maxwellian Plasma

5.1 A General Theorem on Multiple Roots 35

5.2 Double Maxwellian Space Plasma 35

5.3 Triple-Root Situation of Spacecraft Potential 36

5.4 Physical Interpretation of Triple-Root Situation 40

5.5 Triple-Root Jump in Spacecraft Potential 41

5.6 Hysteresis 42

5.7 Triple-Root Spacecraft Charging Domains 42

5.8 Exercises 46

5.9 References 46





Chapter 6: Potential Wells and Barriers

6.1 Introduction 48

6.2 Formation of Potential Wells and Barriers 48

6.3 Effects of Potential Barriers on Electron or Ion Distribution Functions 51

6.4 Interpretation of Experimental Data 51

6.5 Double Maxwellian Distribution Formed by a Potential Barrier 52

6.6 Bootstrap Charging 53

6.7 Charging in Spacecraft Wakes 56

6.8 Exercises 58

6.9 References 58





Chapter 7: Spacecraft Charging in Sunlight

7.1 Photoelectron Current 60

7.2 Surface Reflectance 60

7.3 The Prominent Solar Spectral Line 62

7.4 Can Spacecraft Charging to Negative Voltages Occur in Sunlight? 62

7.5 Spacecraft Charging to Positive Potentials 63

7.6 The Photoemission Current at Negative Spacecraft Potentials 63

7.7 The Monopole-Dipole Potential 65

7.8 Fraction of Photoemission Current Trapped 67

7.9 Competition between Monopole and Dipole 68

7.10 Measurement of Spacecraft Potential in Sunlight 68

7.11 Exercises 69

7.12 References 70





Chapter 8: Space Tethers, Plasma Contactors, and Sheath Ionization

8.1 Lorentz Force 71

8.2 Tether Moving across Ambient Magnetic Field 71

8.3 Bare and Conducting Tether 73

8.4 Floating Potential of Plasma Contactor 75

8.5 Sheath Model 75

8.6 Sheath Ionization 77

8.7 Numerical Method for Sheath Ionization Model 79

8.8 Results of Sheath Ionization 80

8.9 Comparison of Theory with Space Experiment 81

8.10 Exercises 82

8.11 References 82





Chapter 9: Surface Charging Induced by Electron Beam Impact

9.1 Impact Energy of an Electron Beam 84

9.2 Electron Beam Impact on an Initially Uncharged Surface 85

9.3 Electron Impact on an Initially Negatively Charged Surface 85

9.4 Electron Impact on an Initially Positively Charged Surface 87

9.5 Summary 89

9.6 Limitation 89

9.7 Exercises 89

9.8 References 90





Chapter 10: Spacecraft Charging Induced by Electron Beam Emission

10.1 Current Balance without Beam Emission 91

10.2 Electron Beam Emission 92

10.3 Charging to Positive Potentials 93

10.4 Remarks 94

10.5 Exercises 95

10.6 References 96





Chapter 11: Supercharging

11.1 Charging Induced by Large Beam Current Emission 97

11.2 Supercharging 99

11.3 Physical Interpretation of Experimental Results 99

11.4 Surface Charging of Booms 100

11.5 Summary 101

11.6 Exercises 101

11.7 References 102





Chapter 12: Ion Beam Emission from Spacecraft

12.1 Active Control of Spacecraft Potential 103

12.2 Return of Ion Beam 105

12.3 Lower Limit of the Reduced Potential 106

12.4 Space Charge Effect 106

12.5 Charge Exchange in Charged Particle Beams 108

12.6 Chemical Reactions in Ion Beams 110

12.7 Ion Beam in Sunlight 110

12.8 Exercises 112

12.9 References 112





Chapter 13: Discharges on Spacecraft

13.1 Introduction 114

13.2 Location of Discharges on Spacecraft 114

13.3 Surface Discharge Scaling Law 116

13.4 Differential Charging 116

13.5 "Brush Fire" Discharge 117

13.6 Paschen and Non-Paschen Discharges 118

13.7 The Townsend Criterion 119

13.8 Remark on Threshold Voltage 121

13.9 Time Evolution of a Discharge 121

13.10 Laboratory Observations on Discharges 122

13.11 Discharges Initiated by Meteor or Debris Impacts 123

13.12 Exercises 124

13.13 References 124





Chapter 14: Energetic Particle Penetration into Matter

14.1 Introduction 126

14.2 High-Energy Charged Particle Penetration into Solids 126

14.3 Physics of High-Energy Charged Particle Penetration into Matter 127

14.4 The Bohr Model of Charged Particle Interaction 127

14.5 Stopping Power 129

14.6 The Bethe-Bloch Equation 129

14.7 Range and Penetration Distance 130

14.8 Approximate Penetration Depth Formula 132

14.9 Effects of Charged Particle Penetration 133

14.10 Effects on Astronauts 134

14.11 Research Questions in High-Energy Penetration of Charged Particles into Matter 134

14.12 Exercises 134

14.13 References 135





Chapter 15: Spacecraft Anomalies

15.1 Introduction 137

15.2 Space Anomalies due to Surface Charging 137

15.3 Energy of Surface Discharge 139

15.4 Correlation with Space Environment 140

15.5 Evidence of Deep Dielectric Charging on CRRES 140

15.6 Conclusive Evidence of Deep Dielectric Charging 141

15.7 Anomalies Observed on Twin Satellites in the Radiation Belts 142

15.8 Exercises 144

15.9 References 145





Chapter 16: Deep Dielectric Charging

16.1 Introduction 146

16.2 The Importance of Deep Dielectric Charging 146

16.3 High-Energy Electron and Ion Fluxes 147

16.4 Penetration of High-Energy Charges into Materials 148

16.5 Properties of Dielectrics 149

16.6 Observations Attributed to Deep Dielectric Charging 153

16.7 Avalanche Ionization in a High Electric Field 154

16.8 Related Questions and Related Mechanisms 155

16.9 The Mott Transition 156

16.10 The Poole-Frenkel High Electric Field Effect 158

16.11 Zener Breakdown 158

16.12 Electron Fluence 160

16.13 Critical Fluence for Deep Dielectric Charging 161

16.14 Charge Density with Leakage 161

16.15 A Remark on Spacecraft Anomalies 161

16.16 Effect of Electrons Deposited inside Electronics 162

16.17 Exercises 163

16.18 References 164





Chapter 17: Charging Mitigation Methods

17.1 Introduction 166

17.2 Sharp Spike Method 166

17.3 Hot Filament Emission Method 168

17.4 Conducting Grid Method 169

17.5 Partially Conducting Paint/Surface Method 169

17.6 High Secondary Electron Yield Method 169

17.7 Electron and Ion Emission Method 169

17.8 The DSCS Charge Control Experiment 171

17.9 Vaporization Method 172

17.10 Deep Dielectric Charging 172

17.11 Exercises 172

17.12 References 173





Chapter 18: Introduction to Meteors

18.1 Size Distribution 175

18.2 Meteor Showers 175

18.3 Meteor Velocity Limits 177

18.4 Nonshower Meteors 179

18.5 Debris 179

18.6 Meteor Composition 180

18.7 Exercises 180

18.8 References 180





Chapter 19: Meteor Impacts

19.1 Kinetic Energy of Meteoric Particles 182

19.2 Depth of Penetration 182

19.3 Mitigation of Meteoric Impacts 186

19.4 Meteor Shields 186

19.5 Impact Probability of Meteors 187

19.6 Perturbation of Angular Momentum 188

19.7 Secondary Electrons and Ions by Neutral Particle Impact 188

19.8 Plasma Generation by Neutral Particle Impact 188

19.9 Sudden Spacecraft Discharge Hazards 189

19.10 Summary 191

19.11 Exercises 191

19.12 References 191





Chapter 20: Neutral Gas Release

20.1 Ionization and Recombination 194

20.2 Critical Ionization Velocity 197

20.3 Neutral Beam Stripping 199

20.4 Exercises 201

20.5 References 201





Appendixes and Addenda

Appendix 1: Drift of Hot Electrons 205

Appendix 2: Transformation of Coordinates 214

Appendix 3: Normalization and Dimension of Maxwellian Distribution 215

Appendix 4: Flux Integrals 217

Appendix 5: Energy Distribution 219

Appendix 6: Sheath Engulfment 220

Appendix 7: PN Junctions 225

Appendix 8: Probability Function 229

Addendum 1: Computer Software for Spacecraft Charging Calculations 231

Addendum 2: Spacecraft Charging at Jupiter and Saturn 236

Addendum 3: Physical Constants and Conventions 240





Acknowledgments 243

Index 245


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