Volume Charge Distribution Measurement in Thin Dielectrics

Period of Performance: 04/26/2012 - 09/02/2013


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Box Elder Innovations, LLC
4465 W 5900 N PO Box 22
Bear River City, UT 84301
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Utah State University
Physics Department 4415 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322
Institution POC


ABSTRACT: Over half of spacecraft system anomalies attributed to interactions with the natural space environment including electron upsets, damage to components, power system debilities, and complete satellite failures are attributed to spacecraft charging. While measurements of electron emission, surface potential and electrostatic breakdown provide important information, the holy grail of materials characterization in spacecraft charging is a nondestructive method which directly measures the magnitude, spatial distribution, and temporal evolution of internal charge appropriate to practical spacecraft charging problems. Pulsed electro-acoustic (PEA) measurements are potentially such a method. Active spacecraft charging groups with PEA capabilities exist only outside the US. Spacecraft environment fluxes are typically dominated by low energy particles with penetration depths into dielectric materials