Design, construction and testing of the Communications Technology Satellite protection against spacecraft charging


Detailed discussions are presented of the measures taken on the Communications Technology Satellite (CTS or Hermes) which provide protection against the effects of spacecraft charging. These measures include: a comprehensive grounding philosophy and implementation; provision of command and data line transmitters and receivers for transient noise immunity; and a fairly restrictive EMI specification. Ground tests were made on materials and the impact of these tests on the CTS spacecraft is described. Hermes, launched on 17 January 1976 on a 2914 Delta vehicle, has successfully completed 10 months of operations. Anomalies observed are being assessed in relation to spacecraft charging, but no definite correlations have yet been established. A list of conclusions with regard to the CTS experience is given and recommendations for future spacecraft are also listed

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