About the Laboratory
Safeguarding space vehicles against space charging effects resembles the philosophical problem of Achilles and a tortoise. About 50 years ago, mankind began to masterthe geosynchronous orbit. This orbit is at a distance of 6.7 Earth radii straight over equator. At this orbit, angular velocities of the Earth and a satellite are the same so that the latter is fixed relative to a given point on Earth. This feature makes this orbit very useful for communication, navigation, military and other satellites. It is due to this reason that there are a lot of satellites on this unique orbit
Well, in mastering this orbit, researchers had to face the unknown phenomenon of spacecraft charging, which put satellite out of order in a rather short time. Controlling the negative effects of this phenomenon resembled the above mentioned Xenon’s problem of Achilles and a tortoise. While one group of scientists develops techniques to protect spacecraft electronics against these effects and almost succeeds in this endeavor, the other group seeks to upgrade the on-board electronics functionality by its micro-(now, nano-) miniaturization trying to reduce their energy consumption. The negative result of the latter group activity is the rising sensitivity of the upgraded electronics to charging effects. Again, scientists of the first group…. And they almost succeed, while those of the second… Some philosophers think that the Xenon’s problem as yet has not been solved.
It may be stated quite definitely that the problem of securing a reliable operation of the on-board electronics in space has not been solved by any of the space powers as well.
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