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.
Table of Contents
2. Electrostatic Principles
3. Electrical Breakdown and Charge Decay in Planetary Atmospheres
4. The Terrestrial Electrostatic Environment
5. Spacecraft and Satellites in the Electrostatic Environment of the Earth
6. The Electrostatic Environment of the Moon
7. The Electrostatic Environment of Asteroids
8. The Martian Electrostatic Environment
9. The Electrostatic Environments of Venus and Mercury
10. The Electrostatic Environments of the Giant Planets
About the Author(s)Carlos I. Calle
, NASA Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory
Dr. Carlos I. Calle is the founder and manager of NASA's Electrostatics and Surface Physics Laboratory at the Kennedy Space Center. He received his Ph.D in theoretical nuclear physics from Ohio University. Dr. Calle 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.His earlier research work involved the development of a theoretical model for a microscopic treatment of particle scattering. He also introduced one-particle excitation operators in a separable particle-hole Hamiltonian for the calculation of particle excitations. He has published over 150 scientific papers and been invited to participate in international scientific conferences. He has been the recipient of numerous research grants from NSF, from NASA, and from private foundations. Dr. Calle received the NASA Exceptional Technological Achievement Medal, the NASA Spaceflight Awareness Award for his outstanding contributions to the space program, and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award for his exceptional contributions to human spaceflight. He is the author of Superstrings and Other Things: A Guide to Physics, Second Edition, Taylor & Francis (2009), Einstein for Dummies, Wiley (2005), Coffee with Einstein, Duncan Baird (2008), and The Universe, Prometheus Books (2009).