4th Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium Fellowship Symposium
Rocky Mountain NASA Space Grant Consortium
Spacecraft charging due to the natural plasma environment found in all orbits is known to produce many of the observed spacecraft anomalies and failures. A primary factor in adverse spacecraft charging is the secondary electron emission of differing materials on the spacecraft. Precipitating electrons and ions from the plasma to spacecraft surfaces can result in varying amounts of charge being released, depending on the secondary electron yield of the materials; this can lead to arcing between surfaces. NASA's Space and Environments Effects (SEE) program has recognized the need to improve their current materials database for modeling spacecraft charging and have chosen the surface science group at Utah State University to carry out electron emission studies on spacecraft materials as well as other research related to spacecraft charging. The instruments being used at USU are specifically designed to study the problem of spacecraft charging and the contributions of the group will continue after my research on secondary electron emission funded by the Rocky Mountain Space Grant Consortium is completed. In addition to improving NASA=s ability to model spacecraft charging, my secondary electron research has the potential to benefit numerous other fields, such as scanning electron microscopy.
Nickles, Neal and Dennison, JR, "Secondary Electron Emission and Spacecraft Charging" (1998). All Physics Faculty Publications. Paper 1490.