All Physics Faculty Publications

Applications of Secondary Electron Energy- and Angular-Distributions to Spacecraft Charging

Neal Nickles
R. E. Davies
JR Dennison, Utah State University

Available for download from link above or publisher site listed below.

Published in Proceedings of the 6th Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference

Note: publication indicates date of 2000, but Conference was actually in 1998.


Secondary electron (SE) emission from spacecraft surfaces as a result of energetic electron bombardment is a key process in the electrical charging of spacecraft. It has been suggested that incorporating more complete knowledge of the energy- and angular-distributions of secondary electrons is necessary to fully model how SE emission and spacecraft charging are affected by re-adsorption of low energy electrons in the presence of charge-induced electrostatic fields and ambient magnetic fields in the spacecraft environment. We present data for such energy- and angular-distributions from sputtered, polycrystalline gold surfaces. The data are compared to empirical SE emission models and found to agree well. We also discuss at what level inclusion of such energy- and angular-distributions will affect models of spacecraft charging for both positive and negative surface charging.