Space Weather Effects on Spacecraft and
Systems | Orbital Drag
Space Weather Effects on
Spacecraft and Aircraft Systems
Space- and aircraft have with the years become highly
advanced and the instrumentation they carry aboard extremely
It is this development that has made them more vulnerable to the
space environment comprised of energetic charged particles and
The new generation of spacecraft such as SOHO who have given
us a new wealth of information about the Sun, have they themselves
become the easier target of its activity. Where do all of these
particles come from and why do we want to avoid them?
The table below lists the four main sources of these
particles with their corresponding unwanted effects:
- Cosmic Radiation,
- Solar Particle Events,
- Inner Radiation Belt and
- Outer Radiation Belt.
There exists a variety of effects that these particles may
produce, including total dose, lattice displacement damage, single
events upsets (SEE), noise in sensor and spacecraft charging (definitions).
|Cosmic Radiation (protons and
highly ionising heavier nuclei) Production of atmospheric
secondaries (effects in aircraft systems and sea level electronics)
SEEs in electronics.
Background noise in sensor systems.
|Solar Particle Events
Increases rates of single event upsets.
Significant enhancements in the radiation at
supersonic aircraft altitudes.
|The Inner Radiation Belt
(energetic protons and electrons)
|Dose damage, noise and SEE
|The Outer Radiation Belt
|Cumultative dose and damage effects.
Deep dielectric charging (responsible for
numerous anamolies and some losses).
Surface charging anomalies.
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