Sunlight illumination models for spacecraft surface charging

Grey, Stuart and Marchand, Richard and Ziebart, Marek and Omar, Roghaiya (2017) Sunlight illumination models for spacecraft surface charging. IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. ISSN 0093-3813

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    Abstract

    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.