Fuji, H.A. and Takegahara, H. and Oyama, K. and Sasaki, S. and Yamagiwa, Y. and Kruijff, M. and Heide, E.J. Van der and Sanmartín Losada, Juan Ramón and Charro, Mario
A proposed bare-tether experiment on board a sounding
In: "2nd International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference", 16-19 aug 2004, Providence, Rhode Island. ISBN 1563477157.
A mission on board a sounding rocket to carry out two bare-tether experiments is proposed: a test of orbital-motion-limited (OML) collection and the proof-of-flight of a
technique to determine the (neutral) density vertical profile in the critical E-layer. Since full bias from the motional field will be small (~ 20V), corresponding to a tape 1 km long and V rocket <8 km/s, a power source with a range of supply voltages of few kV would be used. First, the negative terminal of the supply would be connected to the tape, and the positive terminal to a round, conductive boom of length 10 - 20 m; electrons collected by the boom
cross the supply into the tape, where they leak out at the rate of ion impact plus secondary emission. Determination of the density profile from measurements of auroral emissions
observed from the rocket, as secondaries racing down the magnetic field reach an E-layer footprint, are discussed. Next the positive terminal of the voltage supply is connected to the tape, and the negative terminal to a Hollow Cathode (HC); electrons now collected by the tape cross the supply, and are ejected at the HC. The opposite connections, with current collection operated by tape and boom, and operating on electrons and ions, and through partial switching in the supply, allow testing OML collection in almost all respects it depends on.