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SPACECRAFT CHARGING
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  1. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems SPACECRAFT CHARGING Spacecraft charging is a variation in the electrostatic potential of a spacecraft surface. Two categories of charging are of relevance: 1. Surface charging (also includes differential charging) 2. Internal dielectric (bulk, buried, deep or thick) charging The relevant plasma energies are from eV to keV levels, as compared to MeV particles typical of ionizing radiation. Differential charging correlates best with intensity of electrons with E ≤ 50 keV. Electrons with energy > 50 keV can penetrate spacecraft surface metallization to cause internal discharge.

  2. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Surface Charging Surface charging is created from low-energy plasma and photoelectric currents. All currents (positive and negative) to and from the surface must balance; in order to obtain this balance, the surface potential (voltage) must vary. Some parts of the spacecraft will out of necessity generate higher potentials than others.

  3. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Currents due to external plasma electrons and Ions. Backscattered electron current from electrons reflected back from the surface with some energy loss. A possible artificial current (ion or electron beam). Net photoelectron current Net current due to secondary electrons (few eV) generated by energetic primaries (electrons and ions) at the satellite surface. The balance equation for current density: Jelec + Jion + Jpe + Jsec + Jback + Jart = 0

  4. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems A spacecraft placed in the plasma will assume a floating potential different from the plasma itself. Surface in Shadow In shadow, a spacecraft will tend to charge negatively from the ambient plasma electrons. The plasma is neutral, with equal numbers of electrons and ions. However, the lighter electrons move at higher velocities, and hence the negative electron current to the spacecraft is greater than the positive ion current.

  5. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems A spacecraft placed in the plasma will assume a floating potential different from the plasma itself. Equilibrium is achieved when the flow of escaping photoelectrons (photoelectron current) is equal to the difference between the incoming flows of plasma ions and electrons (net other current). Surface in Sunlight In sunlight at < 2 RE the flux of plasma electrons to the satellite is greater than the photoelectric flux, so the satellite becomes negatively charged. In sunlight at > 3 RE the photoelectric flux dominates and the satellite becomes positively charged.

  6. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Charging Simulation Using NASCAP Subject to the constraint of current balance as well as the kinetics of plasma-surface interactions, an equation for the electric potential over the spacecraft surface is solved numerically. A popular model is the NASCAP code (NASA Charging Analyzer Program). The following figure compares a NASCAP simulation with actual data from the SCATHA (Satellite Charging at High Altitudes) Satellite (P78-2): NASA NASCAP representation of the FUSE satellite The SCATHA Satellite was specifically designed to study spacecraft charging (launch, January, 1979).

  7. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems This has a finite time constant because eclipsing does not take place instantaneously, and it varies depending on the wavelength of light. Going into darkness (photoelectron flux removed); flow of electrons is now to satellite surface rather than away from it. • Photoelectron flux (photoemission) tends to maintain a positively charged satellite. • (Actually, satellites are generally negatively charged.) • When photoelectron flux is removed, satellite potential is driven further negative. 1979

  8. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Absolute vs. Differential Charging Spacecraft charging is vehicle as well as orbit dependent. For instance, a spherical satellite with a homogeneous conducting surface would be able to distribute charge evenly and effectively, so that the vehicle's potential would be uniform. Thus vehicle design is an important factor in avoiding spacecraft charging problems. Number of arcs per hour as a function of daily average ap for a geosynchronous satellite. Absolute charging occurs when the satellite potential relative to the ambient plasma is changed uniformly. Absolute charging is not generally detrimental. Differential charging between different points on the spacecraft surface is a serious problem.

  9. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Differential Charging Differential charging refers to the variation of charge or potential between different points on the spacecraft surface. This generally leads to discharges or arcing and EMI generation (and resultant transient pulses) which can lead to a several types of operational anomalies: • spurious switching activity (i.e., turning off a recorder or activating a radio or control system) • breakdown of vehicle thermal coatings • amplifier and/or solar cell degradation • degradation of optical sensors by arcing and attraction of • chemicals

  10. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems • By internal charging we mean electrons have penetrated satellite material and deposit their charge within subsystem elements. • This charge can end up on isolated conductors, such as ungrounded radiation shields, or buried in dielectrics. • The charge can build up to “breakdown” levels leading to arc discharges into sensitive circuits. Deep charging in a cable and inside a “black” box. Internal (or “Deep”) Dielectric Charging Internal dielectric charging is caused by high-energy ( >100’s keV) electrons penetrating dielectric materials (i.e., printed circuit boards). If sufficient charge builds up, an arc discharge ensues that appears as a pulse (~ tens of nanoseconds).

  11. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Internal Charging Occurrence is highest in radiation belts 1-3 days after magnetic storms. The use of leaky dielectrics, proper grounding and shielding can reduce the possibility of internal charging. For instance, Kapton and Teflon are dielectric materials often used as thermal blankets on satellites; however, they poorly distribute electric charge. Internal discharge is especially damaging because it often occurs within sensitive electronic circuitry. Internal charging can affect cable wrap, wire insulation, circuit boards, electrical connectors, etc. Tree-like pattern in a ceramic material after electric discharge induced in the laboratory

  12. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Satellite Anomalies Connected with Occurrence of Highly Energetic Electrons WHAT ARE THE TRIGGERS FOR DISCHARGE AND ARCING? Any sudden changes in the electrical environment of the spacecraft: • orbital maneuvers • onset of downlink telemetry • any other electrical activity on spacecraft • movement into/out of eclipse or sunlight • encountering an intense current or boundary of the magnetosphere The occurrence of highly energetic (relativistic) electrons with energies greater than 2 Mev represents adverse space weather conditions hazardous for geosynchronous satellites. When this happens, there is a high likelihood of internal charging of satellite components by energetic electrons, with possible electric discharges that could result in malfunction or even complete failure of the satellite. Such an event was the likely cause of a number of satellite operational anomalies in January 1994, as shown above.

  13. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems • Contaminants (i.e., due to thrusters or outgassing) from a satellite are ionized by solar UV, creating a positively-charged large molecule (“contaminant ion”). • The contaminants can be attracted to negatively-charged satellite surfaces where they modify the optical and thermal properties of the surfaces. OTHER EFFECTS OF SPACECRAFT CHARGING: • Charging obscures interpretation of ambient plasma measurements (for instance, a positively charged vehicle can re-attract secondary e-, backscattered e-, photo - e-, etc.). • Estimates indicate that about 50Å of material can be deposited on charged optical surfaces in ~ 100 days.

  14. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems - + Micrometeorites Generate EMI and Induce ESD Expanding Plasma Cloud • Micrometeorite impacts destroy part of the surface material and create a cloud of charged particles (plasma) and molecules. • The emitted plasma generates a electromagnetic “noise” pulse. • The plasma from the impact site can discharge surface charge, resulting in a more intense “noise” pulse than that from the micrometeorite alone. Micrometeorite

  15. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems USAF & Martin Marietta SCATHA Satellite Mission (Spacecraft Charging at High Altitude) 1979–1991 Joint Air Force/NASA Program to measure the plasma environment and its effects on surface materials, internal and external charging. A major focus was to understand the relation between system noise due to electrostatic discharge (ESD) and properties of the space environment. • The kinds of effects identified were: • Surface & internal charging with associated ESD. • Attraction of outgassed contaminants by charged surfaces. • Radiation induced conductivity of dielectric materials. • Surface charging of materials in space which were not observed • to charge in the laboratory. • Dielectrics becoming weak conductors. • Deterioration of thermal control materials, paints and coatings.

  16. ASEN-5335 Aerospace Environments -- Radiation Effects on Space Systems Correlation with >300 keV electrons suggests internal charging. IDM = internal discharge monitor MEP = Micro- Electronics Package

  17. RADIATION

  18. He2+ e- BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS & RADIATION HEALTH HAZARDS The degree of damage caused by radiation on human tissue is generally related to the degree of ionization produced, i.e., the degree to which electrons are stripped from neutral atoms, leaving positive ions. An important effect is that the ability of a cell to reproduce properly is changed as the incident radiation interacts with a cell's DNA and RNA. • Primary biological risk from space radiation exposure is cancer. • When radiation is absorbed in biological material, the energy is deposited along the tracks of radiation. • Neutrons and heavy ions produce much denser pattern of ionization more biological effects per unit of absorbed radiation dose. • Secondary concerns such as cataracts are beginning to receive more attention.

  19. REM and RBE In biological applications, the terms REM and RBE are used. RBE (Relative Biological Effectiveness) is the number of rads of X-ray or gamma radiation that produces the same biological damage as 1 Rad of the radiation being used. REM (Roentgen Equivalent in Man) is the product of the dose in Rad and the RBE factor. SI unit = Sievert (Sv) 1 Sv = 100 REM As radiation dose is dependent on the type of materials, in electronics dose is often specified in Rad (Silicon).

  20. RBE OF VARIOUS RADIATION SOURCES RadiationRBE 5 MeV gamma rays 0.5 1 MeV gamma rays 0.7 200 keV gamma rays 1.0 Electrons 1.0 Protons 2.0 Neutrons 2-10 Alpha particles 10-20 There are several physical processes by which ionization occurs; generally, though, the effects of ionizing radiation are proportional to the energy absorbed by the surrounding material. As we said before, the rad is the unit of absorbed energy = .01 J/Kg of absorbing material. However, 1 rad received from x-rays produces far less bodily damage than 1 rad received from high energy protons, even though both deposit equal amounts of energy. The RBE (relative biological effectiveness) was therefore defined to express the effects of radiation on biological tissue. The RBE is defined in comparison to a beam of 200 keV x-rays.

  21. What is a "normal" dose per year ? radioactive rock : 20 mr (east) 90 mr (rockies) cosmic rays : 40 mr 160 mr (rockies) food/water : 20-50 mr 20-50 mr each NY/ Paris Trip : 4 mr 4 mr ___________ ____________ totals ~100 mr ~300 mr Shuttle Flight ~65-195 mr Recall that a rem relates biological damage to type of radiation: rem = rad X RBE So, a 1 rad dose of 200 keV x-rays gives a biological equivalent dose of 1 rem, but a 1 rad dose from protons gives a biological equivalent dose of 2 rem. SI units: 1 Sievert (Sv) = 100 REM

  22. 1 Sievert (Sv)=100 REM Solar Proton Events Integrated Proton Fluence During violent solar events, the Sun can accelerate electrons and protons to almost the speed of light which gives them huge amounts of energy. Protons and electrons at these high energies can be very dangerous to living cells. Single Dose Radiation Effects

  23. Probably overestimated doses, since not much survival for Gy > 5.0. Relation between the proportion of people with severe epilation (loss of more than 2/3 of hair) and estimated radiation dose. Acute Radiation Syndrome Symptoms observed within a few months following radiation exposure are collectively called "acute radiation syndrome." Among syndrome symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, reduction in the number of blood cells, bleeding, epilation (hair loss), temporary sterility in males, and lens opacity (clouding ) as well as others. With the exception of vomiting, these symptoms are closely related to cell division because repeatedly dividing cells, e.g., bone marrow and intestinal lining, are more sensitive to radiation than nondividing cells, e.g., muscle and nerve.

  24. Procedure for Determining Absorbed Radiation Dose in Astronauts • Before flight, blood sample is divided into 4 parts and exposed to 4 different dose levels of gamma radiation. • The blood is processed and photographs are made of the chromosomes from these cells. Counts of identifiable damage are recorded. • These data are used to make a simple (roughly linear) graph relating measured chromosomal damage to dose (the Damage/Dose relationship). • On return, another blood sample is taken and chromosome damage counts are made once again. • The Damage/Dose curve is then used to determine the equivalent dose of radiation received in space.

  25. Legal and moral reasons require that NASA limit astronaut radiation exposures. • U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration officially classifies astronauts as “radiation workers”. • Adherence to ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) is recognized throughout NASA’s manned space flight requirements documents. • Radiation protection philosophy--any radiation exposure results in some risk • ISS astronaut exposures will be much higher than typical ground-based radiation worker • Astronaut legal dose limits (In BFO: 50 REM/yr and 30 REM/mo) are 10 times that allowed ground based radiation workers • Space radiation more damaging than radiation typically encountered by ground-based workers

  26. PARTICLE ENERGIES OF CONCERN • ISS originally planned at 28.5º latitude; now at 51.6 º.

  27. Requires post-flight analysis on ground

  28. Extravehicular Activity (EVA) • EVAs - additional radiation exposure concern • Lower shielding • Eye dose • Skin dose • 51.6 degrees, new concern for electron events • Of all the risks encountered by astronauts during space flight, cancer induction from radiation exposure is one of the few that persists after landing. • There is a relatively large probability that EVAs from the ISS will coincide with a radiation enhancement in the belts.

  29. NRC Report (2000) • “ When the intensity of relativistic electrons is greatest, a single ill-timed EVA could deliver a radiation dose big enough to push an astronaut over the short-term limit for skin and eyes. “ • Recommendation 3c: A project should be initiated to develop a protocol for identifying the conditions that produce highly relativistic electron events based on the demonstrated good correlation between changes in solar wind conditions and the onset of such events. 1 sievert (Sv)=100 REM

  30. From Francis Cucinotta, NASA JSC Space Radiation Health Project (private communication)

  31. Parameters That Affect Astronaut Exposure 1. Spacecraft structure 2. Altitude 3. Inclination 4. EVA start time 5. EVA duration 6. Status of outer zone electron belts 7. Status of interplanetary proton flux (SPE) 8. Solar cycle position 9. Geomagnetic field conditions Interplanetary missions, with lifetimes in years, may see even larger radiation doses, as the earth's magnetic field would not be present to shield the spacecraft from GCR's and SPE's. Additional spacecraft shielding might therefore be required. Italics--Opportunity for ALARA --- ‘as low as reasonably achievable’ Red--Controlled by space weather activity

  32. The principal space weather hazard to humans is exposure to cosmic radiation, which is causedprimarily by GCRs. As discussed previously in connection with trans-polar flights and effects on avionics, these very energetic GCRs start interacting with the atmosphere at around 130,000 ft causing secondary particles to shower down into the denser atmosphere below. This “particle shower,” and the corresponding level of radiation dose, reach a maximum intensity ataround 66,000ft (~20 km) and then slowly decrease with decreasing altitude down to sea level. The dose rates also increase with increasing latitude until reaching about 50 degrees, where upon it becomes almost constant. Future commercial air transport concepts and increased traffic over the poles raises concerns in connection with the natural radiation environment The dose rate at an altitude of 39,000 ft (12 km) in mid-temperate latitudes (temperate zones are 23.5° to 66.5° North and South) is typically up to about 6 microSieverts (μSv) per hour, but near the equator only about 3μSv/hr. (The Sievert [1 Sv=1 Joule/kg] is a measure of potential harm from ionizing radiation.) Typically, a London to Los Angeles flight in a commercial aircraft accumulates ~65μSv (6μSv/hr); however, the solar cycle can give ~ 20% variations in dose from solar minimum to maximum.