NASA-HDBK-4006

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Low Earth Orbit Spacecraft Charging Design Handbook

NASA-HDBK-4006 Low Earth Orbit Spacecraft Charging Design Handbook

1. SCOPE

The information in this handbook presents an overview of the current understanding of the
various plasma interactions that can result when a high-voltage system is operated in the Earth’s
ionosphere, references common design practices that have exacerbated plasma interactions in the
past, and recommends standard practices to eliminate or mitigate such reactions.

1.1 Purpose

The purpose of this handbook is to provide design guidance referenced in NASA—STD—4005,
Low Earth Orbit Spacecraft Charging Design Standard, for high-voltage space power systems
(>55 volts) that operate in the plasma environment associated with LEO (altitude from 200 and
1000 km and latitude between -50 and +50 degrees). Such power systems, particularly solar
arrays, are the proximate cause of spacecraft charging in LEO, and these systems can interact
with this environment in a number of ways that are potentially destructive to themselves as well
as to the platform or vehicle that has deployed them.

1.2 Applicability

This handbook is applicable to high—voltage space power systems that operate in the plasma
environment associated with LEO (see NASA-STD-4005).

This handbook may be referenced in contract, program, and other Agency documents for guidance.

 


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