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Injun 5 observations of vehicle potential fluctuations at 2500 kmThe AFGL spherical electrostatic analyzers aboard the polar orbiting Injun 5 satellite were designed to measure the temperature and density of the plasma as well as the vehicle potential. Significant vehicle potential fluctuations were observed at altitudes near 2500 km in the nighttime, topside ionosphere. At auroral latitudes, precipitating magnetospheric electrons frequently drove the satellite to such strongly negative potentials that the ambient electrons were shielded from instruments. In such cases, simultaneous measurements can be used to calculate the vehicle potential. Potentials of up to -40 volts were observed during impulsive precipitation events. Within the plasma trough, vehicle potentials varied between -1.5 and -4 volts, as compared with the -0.5 to -1 volt observed in the polar cap. The source of this vehicle potential enhancement was ascribed to fluxes of photoelectrons that have escaped from the sunlit conjugate ionosphere.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Sagalyn, R. C.
(Air Force Geophysics Lab. Hanscom AFB, MA, United States)
Burke, W. J.
(Regis Coll. Research Center Weston, Mass., United States)
Date Acquired
August 9, 2013
Publication Date
February 24, 1977
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Res. Center Proc. of the Spacecraft Charging Technol. Conf.
Subject Category
Launch Vehicles And Space Vehicles
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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