Questions tagged [spacecraft-charging]

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What generates static charge on the ISS?

There are two plasma contactors on the ISS Z1 truss, designed to neutralize static electrical charge of the space station. What generates static charge on a spacecraft? If it is picking up charge from ...
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Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? Size of 122 cm conductive spheres charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators?

Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black? links to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ ...
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Why were the three 122-cm diameter conductive spheres for charge collection in the Shuttle's Space Experiments with Particle Accelerators black?

From this answer to How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle “grounded”? What did they look like?: STS-45 view of payload bay with this description (emphasis my own)...
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Why do satellites have capacitance? [closed]

In some comments on this forum I read that satellites have capacitance of some nF or pF, What is this about? How can I calculate it roughly?
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1 vote
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Do ISS crews have to worry about the ionosphere? Have hazards to EVAs or surface arcing/functional anomalies happened due to ionospheric charing?

Comments below this answer tell us that the International Space Station always remained in Earth's atmosphere. It orbits in the thermosphere and simultaneously the ionosphere. This answer to How do ...
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9 votes
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Thrust of ion thruster when spacecraft is charged

I read in many articles and books that the thrust of an ion thruster is equal to $$T = \sqrt{\frac{2M}{e}} I_b \sqrt{V_b} \ \ \text{[newtons]}$$ screenshot where $V_b$ is the acceleration potential, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
350 views

How did three 1.2 meter spheres and a Xe+ plasma contactor keep the Shuttle "grounded"? What did they look like?

Statement of relevance This answer to Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space? mentions particle beam experiments done from the Space Shuttle while it flew through Earth's atmosphere ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Problems with spaceflight high voltage

What problem exists if the surface of the satellite is at a high positive potential in LEO? What is the maximum voltage it could withstand? is there any document about it?
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What is the maximum voltage of an Electric Sail?

Suppose we have an electric sail in LEO, how could one calculate the maximum voltage that could be sustained? It can't be infinite, there must be some limiting factors. Is there any ionization voltage ...
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5 votes
1 answer
221 views

Is there any possible reason to direct the electron gun specifically towards the ion trail behind an ion thruster?

This answer to Neutralization of ions in the ion thruster quotes the introduction to Wikipedia's Ion thruster: Temporarily stored electrons are finally reinjected by a neutralizer in the cloud of ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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How is Parker Solar Probe so robust against coronal mass ejections?

Phys.org's Revealing the physics of the Sun with Parker Solar Probe quotes "Tim Horbury, a lead researcher on Parker Solar Probe's FIELDS instruments based at Imperial College London" as saying: "...
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12 votes
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How are differences in electrical potential between docking (or berthing) vehicles mitigated?

Different vehicles can have several hundred or even several thousand volts difference between their baseline electrical potentials. How do they ensure that upon first contact, there isn't a massive ...
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How do spacecraft measure their own charge?

The discussion in the NOAA legacy page Space Weather Prediction Center Topic Paper: Satellites and Space Weather (found here) lists: Types of Spacecraft Anomalies Spacecraft anomalies are ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Is a spacecraft able to measure it's current electric charge in some way? [duplicate]

In this question, there is discussion of charge buildup on a spacecraft. Is it possible for a spacecraft to measure its own charge?
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9 votes
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459 views

How is charge dissipated in ion-propulsed spacecraft?

I understand that an ion-thruster will continuously charge its spacecraft with a charge opposite of the one of the ions it thrusts. Over a long journey this charge would be considerable. What would ...
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