Validation of ISS Floating Potential Measurement Unit Electron Densities and Temperatures


Validation of the Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU) electron density and temperature measurements is an important step in the process of evaluating International Space Station spacecraft charging issues .including vehicle arcing and hazards to crew during extravehicular activities. The highest potentials observed on Space Station are due to the combined VxB effects on a large spacecraft and the collection of ionospheric electron and ion currents by the 160 V US solar array modules. Ionospheric electron environments are needed for input to the ISS spacecraft charging models used to predict the severity and frequency of occurrence of ISS charging hazards. Validation of these charging models requires comparing their predictions with measured FPMU values. Of course, the FPMU measurements themselves must also be validated independently for use in manned flight safety work. This presentation compares electron density and temperatures derived from the FPMU Langmuir probes and Plasma Impedance Probe against the independent density and temperature measurements from ultraviolet imagers, ground based incoherent scatter radar, and ionosonde sites.

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Paris, France
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