Particle flows to shape and voltage surface discontinuities in the electron sheath surrounding a high voltage solar array in LEOThis paper discusses the numerical modeling of electron flows from the sheath surrounding high positively biased objects in LEO (Low Earth Orbit) to regions of voltage or shape discontinuity on the biased surfaces. The sheath equations are derived from the Two-fluid, Warm Plasma Model. An equipotential corner and a plane containing strips of alternating voltage bias are treated in two dimensions. A self-consistent field solution of the sheath equations is outlined and is pursued through one cycle. The electron density field is determined by numerical solution of Poisson's equation for the electrostatic potential in the sheath using the NASCAP-LEO relation between electrostatic potential and charge density. Electron flows are calculated numerically from the electron continuity equation. Magnetic field effects are not treated.
Metz, Roger N. (Colby College Waterville, ME, United States)