Dr Stuart Grey

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Sunlight illumination models for spacecraft surface charging

May 01, 2017

Stuart Grey and Richard Marchand and Marek Ziebart and Roghaiya Omar

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science

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A model is developed to compute solar illumination of satellite components while accounting for multiple reflections, variable surface properties and illumination source size. This model is implemented in OpenCL and integrated with the parti- cle in cell (PIC) satellite-environment simulation code, PTetra, enabling kinetic simulations in which photoelectron emission resulting from direct illumination and multiple reflections are taken into account. Results for the Solar Orbiter spacecraft show a small change to the overall charging and a significant change to the charge distribution around the Solar Wind Analyzer instrument.