J. Spacecraft and Rockets
More than 50 years after the dawn of the space age, most spacecraft still do not have sensors onboard capable of detecting whether they are at potentials likely to put them at risk of severe charging and the concomitant arcing, or, indeed, even capable of detecting when or if they undergo arcing. As a result, anomaly resolution has often been hit or miss, and false diagnoses are probably common. In this paper, a few remote sensing techniques that could be applied for remotely detecting spacecraft charging and/or arcing, and their feasibility, are examined: surface glows from high-energy electron impact, x-rays from bremsstrahlung, and radio and optical emission from arcs and after arcing.
Dale C. Ferguson, Jeremy-Murray Krezan, David A. Barton JR Dennison, and Stephen Gregory, “Feasibility of Detecting Spacecraft Charging and Arcing by Remote Sensing,” J. Spacecraft and Rockets, , 51(6), 2014, 1907-1913. DOI: 10.2514/1.A32958