A pulsed, high-voltage source, which is able to draw a current from the surrounding plasma, is seen to induce large changes in the potential of an ionospheric satellite (the Iowa Plasma Diagnostics Package flown on Space Shuttle flight STS-51F). This, in turn, may affect the operation of other instruments that use the chassis of the satellite as a ground for electrical circuits. The magnitude of the change in satellite potential is dependent upon both the orientation of the high-voltage source, relative to the plasma flow, and the characteristics of the high-voltage source. When the satellite is grounded to the Shuttle Orbiter, this effect is sufficient to change the potential of the Orbiter by a small, but noticeable, amount.
Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets (ISSN 0022-4650); 25; 64-69