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Photoelectron Current Measurement in Low Earth Orbit Using a Lean Satellite, HORYU-IV

Essien Ewang(1*), Akira Miyahara(2), Arifur R. Khan(3), Kazuhiro Toyoda(4), Mengu Cho(5)

(1) Kyushu Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE), Japan
(2) Kyushu Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE), Japan
(3) University of Texas, United States
(4) Kyushu Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE), Japan
(5) Kyushu Institute of Technology, Laboratory of Spacecraft Environment Interaction Engineering (LaSEINE), Japan
(*) Corresponding author



This study presents the development and implementation of a photoelectron current measurement system on-board HORYU-IV satellite to take on-orbit measurements from conductive and insulator surfaces. The measurement system aims at providing critical information on photoelectron yield of materials widely used onboard spacecraft. HORYU-IV is the fourth satellites of the HORYU series developed at Kyushu Institute of Technology and it was piggy-back launched on-board H-IIA F30 rocket at an altitude of 575 km on February 17, 2016 (JST). The measurement system mainly consists of current-voltage amplifier circuits for AU, Kapton® and black Kapton® samples with gains of 1x, 3x and 1x amplification, respectively. In this article, the analysis of the on-orbit results is presented. The on-orbit results show that a photoelectron current of 2.9nA and 3.1nA was measured from black Kapton® sample at respective elevations of 70.7° and 71.1°. These results respectively correspond to a current density of 14.0μA/m2 and 18.0μA/m2 at 71.1°. This study also presents various ground-based tests results performed to verify and validate the effectiveness of the photoelectron current measurement system developed for space applications.
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Small Satellite; Space Environment; Photoelectron Current; Space Materials

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