Charging tools for the JUICE mission

2014-02-05 14:10 by David Rodgers

Tools and environment models for internal and surface charging

A new activity kicked off at the start of February 2014, which aims to improve modelling of the charging environment around Jupiter, for both surface and internal charging. The same study will also create a 1-d internal charging assessment tool based on Monte Carlo particle transport.

Both surface and internal charging are environmental interactions that will affect spacecraft, such as JUICE, in the Jovian magnetosphere. This region contains intense populations of trapped plasma that cause surface charging and higher energy electrons that cause internal charging. Both of these processes cause electrostatic discharges and are thus a threat to spacecraft systems and instruments. Using existing in-situ and remote data sources, the study will create time-dependent statistical models to describe the plasma and trapped electron environment applicable to JUICE charging analyses.

The DICTAT 1-d internal charging analysis tool is widely used but has known weaknesses. To address this, a new 1-d internal charging code will be created in this study, using Monte Carlo particle transport to calculate charging currents and doses. This is intended to provide a more accurate initial analysis tool for internal charging effects to complement more detailed 3-d charging analyses which are becoming available.

This study is being undertaken by Kallisto Consultancy Ltd, (UK) in partnership with RadMod Research (UK), the Swedish Institute for Space Physics (S), Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (D) and DH Consultancy (B). In addition, a number of external collaborators will participate. The team is led by Dr. Pete Truscott. 

This activity is supported by ESA's Technology Research Programme (TRP). ESA Contract No. 4000109999/13/NL/AK.

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