Add to Cart

Electrostatic Phenomena on Planetary Surfaces

Carlos I Calle


The diverse planetary environments in the solar system react in somewhat different ways to the encompassing influence of the Sun. These different interactions define the electrostatic phenomena that take place on and near planetary surfaces. The desire to understand the electrostatic environments of planetary surfaces goes beyond scientific inquiry. These environments have enormous implications for both human and robotic exploration of the solar system. This book describes in some detail what is known about the electrostatic environment of the solar system from early and current experiments on Earth as well as what is being learned from the instrumentation on the space exploration missions (NASA, European Space Agency, and the Japanese Space Agency) of the last few decades. It begins with a brief review of the basic principles of electrostatics.

About Editors

Carlos I Calle is the founder and manager of NASA's Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory at the Kennedy Space Center. He received his PhD in theoretical nuclear physics from Ohio University. He is currently working on the problem of electrostatic phenomena on planetary surfaces, particularly on Mars and the Moon, developing instrumentation for future planetary exploration missions. He has authored more than 150 papers, several books, and is the recipient of two awards from NASA for outstanding contributions to the space program.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Electrostatic Principles

Coulomb's Law and the Principle of Superposition

The Electric Field

Conductors in Electrostatic Fields


Electrostatic Breakdown

Dielectrics in Electric Fields


Electrical and Mechanical Mobility

Debye Length

3. Electrical Breakdown and Charge Decay in Planetary Atmospheres

Electrical Breakdown in Planetary Atmospheres

Glow Discharges and Ion Wind

Charge Mobility

Charge Decay in Planetary Atmospheres

4. The Terrestrial Electrostatic Environment

The Earth's Atmosphere

Electrical Breakdown in the Terrestrial Atmosphere

Radiation from the Sun: The Solar Wind

Radiation Belts


5. Spacecraft and Satellites in the Electrostatic Environment of the Earth

Spacecraft and Satellite Orbits

Spacecraft Charging

Spacecraft Charging in LEO

Charging of the International Space Station

Spacecraft Charging in MEO

Spacecraft Charging in GEO

Mitigation Techniques

6. The Electrostatic Environment of the Moon

The Lunar Surface Environment

The Lunar Electrostatic Environment

Electrostatic Charging of the Lunar Regolith

Triboelectric Charging on the Lunar Surface

7. The Electrostatic Environment of Asteroids

The Asteroid Electrostatic Environment

Electrostatic Dust Transport

Cohesive Forces in Asteroids

8. The Martian Electrostatic Environment

The Martian Atmosphere

Electrical Breakdown in the Martian Atmosphere

Electrostatic Charge and Size of Martian Atmospheric Dust Particles

9. The Electrostatic Environments of Venus and Mercury

Electrical Phenomena in the Venusian Atmosphere

The Electrostatic Environment of Mercury

10. The Electrostatic Environments of the Giant Planets

The Electrostatic and Magnetic Environments of Jupiter

Lightning on Jupiter

The Electrostatic Environment of Saturn

The Electrostatic Environments of Uranus and Neptune

The Electrostatic Environment of Saturn's Moon Titan


Paperback ISBN: 9780750328579

Ebook ISBN: 9781681744780

DOI: 10.1088/978-1-6817-4477-3

Publisher: Morgan & Claypool Publishers


« Back