alexa Low earth orbit plasma effects on spacecraft Read More: http: doi abs 10.2514 6.1993-614


Journal of Astrophysics & Aerospace Technology

Author(s): A Tribble

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Approximately one half of all new spacecraft are destined for the region between 100 and 1000 km termed Low Earth Orbit (LEO). A typical LEO spacecraft will utilize either battery power or low voltage solar arrays, (28 volts), for power generation and is designed for an operating life of at most a few years. As technology progresses the trend will be to design spacecraft with higher voltage electrical power systems and longer lifetimes. This paper first discusses the general characteristics of the LEO charging process In order to highlight the differences between the high current, low energy charging seen in LEO and the low current, high energy charging seen in geosynchronous orbits. This Is followed by an examination of the various types of plasma interactions that a spacecraft in LEO may he subjected to with the objective being to identify how each of the various interactions is related to specific spacecraft design criteria.

This article was published in American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and referenced in Journal of Astrophysics & Aerospace Technology

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