AIAA S-115-2013

Low Earth Orbit Spacecraft Charging Design Standard Requirement and Associated Handbook

Published by: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics / 09/01/2013 / 69 pages
This document and information handbook presents an overview of the current understanding of the various plasma interactions that can result when a high-voltage system is operated in the Earth’s ionosphere. This document is also applicable to satellites during the lower latitude portion of polar orbits and to GEO satellites during the initial low altitude portion of their geostationary transfer orbit.

It references common design practices that have exacerbated plasma interactions in the past, and recommends standard requirements and practices to eliminate or mitigate such reactions.

The purpose of this standard is to provide the requirements for a design standard for high-voltage space power systems (>55 V) that operate in the plasma environment associated with LEO (altitude between 200 km and 1000 km and latitude between -50 degrees and +50 degrees). Such power systems, particularly solar arrays, are the proximate cause of spacecraft charging in LEO. These systems can interact with this environment in a number of ways that are potentially destructive to themselves and to the platform or vehicle that has deployed them.

Ordering and availability

This publication is available both in printed and PDF edition.

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