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The multiple applications of electrons in spaceAn electron source such as a simple cathode is a cheap and light device which can serve several technological and scientific purposes in space: (1) electrostatic charging of a spacecraft can be limited by releasing electrons accumulated on the conductive elements of their surface; (2) the erosion of conductive coatings and the ability of conductive paints to withstand the space environment can be evaluated by monitoring the flow of charged particles impinging on their surface; (3) measuring the current collected by the spacecraft surface as a function of its potential with respect to an emitter is a very sensitive diagnostic technique which can yield a number of plasma parameters, such as density and temperature; (4) it is possible to convert the thermal motion of space plasmas into electrical energy by collecting energetic electrons and returning them to the medium as cold particles; (5) a wave in a plasma is characterized by a conduction current density which gives rise to fluctuations of the current flowing to the surface.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Grard, R. J. L.
(European Space Agency. European Space Research and Technology Center ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands)
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
Electronics And Electrical Engineering
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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