The plasma-spacecraft interface on small-scale spacecraft with implications for electrodynamic tether systems

Jesse K. McTernan, Sven G. Bilen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the effect of geometry on current collection to small-scale spacecraft immersed in a low Earth orbit-type plasma. We found that a metallic cube of the same scale size as a CubeSat collects a comparable amount of current to an equal-area sphere. We outline several future investigations to address questions regarding how to accurately compare the disparate geometries; how geometry and applied voltage affect the ambient plasma; and what effect material properties have on the current-voltage relationship. These results have implication for small-scale electrodynamic tether systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition
StatePublished - Oct 7 2013
EventAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Sep 10 2013Sep 12 2013

Publication series

NameAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition

Other

OtherAIAA SPACE 2013 Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA
Period9/10/139/12/13

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering

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