Accession Number : ADA187686

Title :   A Simple Model for the Initial Phase of a Water Plasma Cloud about a Large Structure in Space.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept.,

Corporate Author : MASSACHUSETTS INST OF TECH CAMBRIDGE DEPT OF AERONAUTICS AND ASTRONAUTICS

Personal Author(s) : Hastings, D E ; Gatsonis, N A ; Mogstad, T

PDF Url : ADA187686

Report Date : 04 May 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 39

Abstract : Large structures in the ionosphere will outgas or eject neutral water and perturb the ambient neutral environment. This water can undergo charge exchange with the ambient oxygen ions and form a water plasma cloud. Additionally, water dumps or thruster firings can create a water plasma cloud. A simple model for the evolution of a water plasma cloud about a large space structure is obtained. It is shown that if the electron density around a large space is substantially enhanced above the ambient density then the plasma cloud will move away from the structure. As the cloud moves away it will become unstable and will eventually break up into filaments. A true steady state will exist only if the total electron density is unperturbed from the ambient density. When the water density is taken to be consistent with Shuttle based observations the cloud is found to slowly drift away on a timescale of many tens of milliseconds. This time is consistent with the Shuttle observations. Keywords: Water plasma cloud; Electrostatic noise.

Descriptors :   *WATER, *SPACE ENVIRONMENTS, CHARGE TRANSFER, CLOUDS, DRIFT, ELECTRON DENSITY, ELECTROSTATICS, IONOSPHERE, IONS, NOISE(ELECTRICAL AND ELECTROMAGNETIC), OXYGEN, SPACE SHUTTLES, STEADY STATE, STRUCTURES, THRUSTERS

Subject Categories : Atmospheric Physics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE