An Unusual Charging Event on ISEE-1
E. C. Whipple
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Electrostatic cleanliness requirements on ISEE 1 were expected to prevent negative charging in sunlight. This has largely been true, but on three occasions, ISEE 1 has been observed to charge to significant negative potentials in sunlight. Data from the two electric field experiments and from the plasma composition experiment on ISEE 1 show that the spacecraft charged to close to -70 V in sunlight at about 0700 UT on March 17, 1978. Data from the electron spectrometer experiment show that there was a potential barrier of some -10 to -20 V about the spacecraft during this event. The potential barrier was effective in turning back emitted photoelectrons to the spacecraft. Potential barriers can be formed by differential charging on the spacecraft or by the presence of excess space charge in the plasma. The shape of the barrier suggests that it is due to the former, even though electrostatic cleanliness specifications imposed on ISEE were intended to eliminate differential charging. Modeling of this event showed that the barrier could not be produced by the presence of space charge, but that it was most likely produced by differential charging of the solar arrays.
Journal of Geophysical Research, 93, 5568-5578
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