Assessment and control of spcaecraft charging risks on the International Space Station
Koontz S, et al. (2004). "Assessment and control of spcaecraft charging risks on the International Space Station." American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting
The International Space Station (ISS) operates in the F2 region of Earth's ionosphere, orbiting at altitudes ranging from 350 to 450 km at an inclination of 51.6 degrees. The relatively dense, cool F2 ionospheric plasma suppresses surface charging processes much of the time, and the flux of relativistic electrons is low enough to preclude deep dielectric charging processes. The most important spacecraft charging processes in the ISS orbital environment are: 1) ISS electrical power system interactions with the F2 plasma, 2) magnetic induction processes resulting from flight through the geomagnetic field and, 3) charging processes that result from interaction with auroral electrons at high latitude. Recently, the continuing review and evaluation of putative ISS charging hazards required by the ISS Program Office revealed that ISS charging could produce an electrical shock hazard to the ISS crew during extravehicular activity (EVA). ISS charging risks are being evaluated in an ongoing measurement and analysis campaign. The results of ISS charging measurements are combined with a recently developed model of ISS charging (the Plasma Interaction Model) and an exhaustive analysis of historical ionospheric variability data (ISS Ionospheric Specification) to evaluate ISS charging risks using Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) methods. The PRA combines estimates of the frequency of occurrence and severity of the charging hazards with estimates of the reliability of various hazard controls systems, as required by NASA s safety and risk management programs, to enable design and selection of a hazard control approach that minimizes overall programmatic and personnel risk. The PRA provides a quantitative methodology for incorporating the results of the ISS charging measurement and analysis campaigns into the necessary hazard reports, EVA procedures, and ISS flight rules required for operating ISS in a safe and productive manner.