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Differential spacecraft charging on the geostationary operational environmental satellitesSubsystems aboard the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites 4 and 5 showed instances of anomalous changes in state corresponding to false commands. Evidence linking the anomalous changes to geomagnetic activity, and presumably static discharges generated by spacecraft differential charging induced by substorm particle injection events is presented. The anomalies are shown to be correlated with individual substorms as monitored by stations of the North American Magnetometer Chain. The relative frequency of the anomalies is shown to be a function of geomagnetic activity. Finally a least squares fit to the time delay between substorm initiation and spacecraft anomaly as a function of spacecraft local time is shown to be consistent with injected electron populations with energy in the range 10 keV to 15 keV, in agreement with present understanding of the spacecraft charging mechanism. The spacecraft elements responsible for the differential charging were not satisfactorily identified. That question is currently under investigation.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Farthing, W. H.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Brown, J. P.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Bryant, W. C.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1982
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Space Vehicles
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:83908
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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