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Modelling ion propulsion plume interactions with spacecraft in formation flight

Kafafy, Raed Ismail and Cao, Y. (2010) Modelling ion propulsion plume interactions with spacecraft in formation flight. Aeronautical Journal, 114 (1157). pp. 417-426. ISSN 0001-9240

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This paper presents a simulation study of ion thruster plume effects on formation flying spacecraft. Two formation flight applications using micro-ion propulsion are considered: an L2-Halo orbit interferometer formation and a LEO micro-satellite formation. Worst case scenarios in both missions have been investigated. We focus our study on thruster configurations resulting in possible indirect plume impingement on satellites outside of the direct impingement zone. Indirect impingement which cannot be predicted except through plasma simulation or in-flight measurements might expose critical spacecraft elements such as optical sensors to a harsh contamination environment. A high-fidelity electrostatic plasma simulation code for parallel computing platforms was used in the study. In our study, we found that using miniature scale ion propulsion in both formation missions creates a very low charge-exchange plasma environment which results in tolerable contamination environment for other spacecraft in the formation.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 5259/11900
Uncontrolled Keywords: Charge exchanges; Flight measurements; Formation flight; Formation flying spacecraft; Halo orbits; High fidelity; Impingement zones; Ion thruster; Micro satellite; Parallel computing platform; Plasma environments; Plume impingement; Plume interaction; Simulation studies; Worst case scenario Engineering controlled terms: Flight simulators; Ion exchange; Ion propulsion; Ions; Parallel architectures; Plasma simulation; Space shuttles Engineering main heading: Spacecraft propulsion
Subjects: T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics > TL500 Aeronautics
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Engineering
Depositing User: Nor Hazirah Mat Saad
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 10:57
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 10:58
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/11900

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