Document Type

Conference Poster

Journal/Book Title/Conference

American Physical Society Four Corner Section Meeting

Publication Date

Fall 2014


Electrostatic discharge (ESD) and the associated material breakdown is the primary cause for spacecraft damage due to space environment interactions. This phenomenon occurs when the space plasma fluxes charge a craft to high voltages where insulating materials then break down. This failure allows current to flow freely through the material which; can damage or destroy onboard electrical systems. My work focuses on the effects of these breakdowns on suspect materials commonly used for electrical insulation in space. The USU Material Physics Group has performed ESD tests on hundreds of samples to date. The ESD damage sites of these samples have been analyzed for parameters including breakdown size, shape, location, thickness, and polymer type. More data has become available, including thickness, breakdown voltage, and breakdown E field. These results have been recorded in an ESD Quality Summary Table. Which we utilize for sorting potential correlations. Trends within this data have been identified and are being investigated more thoroughly.