With PASP Plus as its primary payload, the APEX satellite was launched by a standard Pegasus rocket released from a NASA B-52 aircraft on 3 August 1994. A 70 deg inclination, 363 km X 2550 km orbit was achieved, allowing both investigation of space plasma effects on high-voltage operation in the perigee region and investigation of space radiation effects on array power output from passage through the inner radiation belt in the apogee region. Data gathering by PASP Plus was begun on 7 Aug 94 and ended on 11 Aug 95. In one year, PASP Plus collected an order of magnitude more data on environmental interactions on solar arrays than all previous space-borne photovoltaic experiments combined. The test arrays flown and the interactions-measuring and space-environment sensors of PASP Plus are described. The results of measurements of leakage current under test-array positive biasing and arc rates under negative biasing as a function of bias voltage, plasma density, array orientation, and other conditions are presented. The results of measurements of test-array power-output degradation caused by space radiation are also examined.
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Plasmadynamics and Lasers; Jun 17, 1996 - Jun 20, 1996; New Orleans, LA; United States|27th Plasmadynamicsand Lasers Conference