Test mass charging simulation of ASTROD I due to solar energetic particles at 0.5 AU
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Maintaining the geodesic motion of the test mass is vital to ASTROD I space mission. However, the electrostatic charging of the test mass due to cosmic rays and solar energetic particles will result in Coulomb and Lorentz forces and consequently influence the test mass motions. To estimate the size of these effects, a credible simulation of test mass charging processes is critically required. Using the GEANT4 software toolkit, we have modeled the charging processes and predict how the ASTROD I test mass will charge positively at a rate of 217370 e+/s, due to solar energetic particles (SEPs) at ∼ 0.5 AU caused by the largest SEPs event on 29, September, 1989. In addition to Monte Carlo uncertainty, an error of ±30% in the net charging rates was added to account for uncertainties in the spectra, physics and geometry models.
Keywordscharging simulation ASTROD I GEANT4 solar energetic particles
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