Studies of Beam Plasma Interactions in a Space Simulation Chamber Using Prototype Space Shuttle Instruments
In March, 1981, electron beam experiments were conducted in the large space simulation chamber at Johnson Space Center using equipment destined to be flown aboard NASA’s Office of Space Sci-ence-1 pallet (OSS-1). Two major flight experiments were involved: The Vehicle Charging and Potential (VCAP) experiment from Utah State University and the Plasma Diagnostics Package (PDP) from the University of Iowa. Apparatus connected with VCAP included a Fast Pulse Electron Gun (FPEG), a Charge and Current Probe (CCP), a Spherical Retarding Potential Analyzer and Langmuir Probe (SRPA/LP), a Digital Command and Interface Unit (DCIU), and associated ground support equipment. The PDP included a wide variety of particle and wave analyzers packaged within a sub-satellite which will both be flown with VCAP aboard the OSS-1 payload eventually be released from the Space Shuttle on the Spa-celab-2 mission for the purpose of making diagnostic plasma measurements in the ionosphere. In the present circumstances principal interest was directed towards determining the characteristic physical phenomena which occur within the plasma column created by the firing of the FPEG into the low pressure atmospheric gases of the space simulation chamber.
KeywordsPitch Angle Plasma Column Magnetic Field Intensity Space Shuttle Beam Plasma
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