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- The characterization of the electromagnetic interaction for a solar sail in the solar wind environment and identification of viable charging mitigation strategies are critical solar sail mission design tasks. Spacecraft charging has important implications both for science applications and for lifetime and reliability issues of sail propulsion systems. To that end, surface charging calculations of a candidate 150-meter-class solar sail spacecraft for the 0.5 AU solar polar and 1.9 AU LI solar wind environments are performed. A model of the spacecraft with candidate materials having appropriate electrical properties is constructed using Object Toolkit. The spacecraft charging analysis is performed using Nascap-2k. the NASA/AFRL sponsored spacecraft charging analysis tool. Nominal and atypical solar wind environments appropriate for the 0.5 AU and 1.0 AU missions are used to establish current collection of solar wind ions and electrons. Finally, a geostationary orbit environment case is included to demonstrate a bounding example of extreme (negative) charging of a solar sail spacecraft. Results from the charging analyses demonstrate that minimal differential potentials (and resulting threat of electrostatic discharge) occur when the spacecraft is constructed entirely of conducting materials, as anticipated from standard guidelines for mitigation of spacecraft charging issues. Examples with dielectric materials exposed to the space environment exhibit differential potentials ranging from a few volts to extreme potentials in the kilovolt range.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050181997.
9th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference; 4-8 Apr. 2005; Tsukuba; Japan.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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