Spacecraft Charging
ByShu T. Lai, Kerri Cahoy
Pages 15

This entry is an overview of spacecraft surface charging in space plasmas. It occurs mostly at geosynchronous orbits where many communication satellites are located. Depending on the surface properties, spacecraft surface charging occurs when the ambient electron temperature is hot (kiloelectronvolts). Differential charging between spacecraft surfaces is the main cause for hazardous discharges, which may disturb scientific measurements onboard, damage instruments and even terminate missions. Several mitigation methods are discussed. Finally, spacecraft anomalies are discussed and some examples of spacecraft anomalies due to surface charging are given.