Active spacecraft potential control: An ion emitter experiment. [Cluster mission]
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The cluster spacecraft are instrumented with ion emitters for charge neutralization. The emitters produce indium ions at 6 keV. The ion current is adjusted in a feedback loop with instruments measuring the spacecraft potential. The system is based on the evaporation of indium in the apex field of a needle. The design of the active spacecraft potential control instruments, and the ion emitters is presented.
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