Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Charles M. Swenson


Surface charging by plasma can be a serious issue for any spacecraft. Though significant charging is not observed in all spacecrafts at all times, it only requires a single episode of extreme charging to result in serious damage. The International Space Station (ISS) is an interesting platform to study these charging effects because of its size and relatively high voltage systems. Of the many kinds of charging observed on ISS, the rapid charging events during solar eclipse exit in a low-density ionosphere is not yet understood. This report is an investigation to understand this phenomenon. This report proposes a simple linear model of this nonlinear charging that takes into account the capacitive and resistive natures of conducting and oxidized surfaces is sufficient to describe the phenomenon.


This work made publicly available electronically on November 21, 2011.