4. Spacecraft Test Techniques

  1. Henry B. Garrett and
  2. Albert C. Whittlesey

Published Online: 4 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118241400.ch4

Guide to Mitigating Spacecraft Charging Effects

Guide to Mitigating Spacecraft Charging Effects

How to Cite

Garrett, H. B. and Whittlesey, A. C. (2012) Spacecraft Test Techniques, in Guide to Mitigating Spacecraft Charging Effects, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118241400.ch4

Author Information

  1. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 MAY 2012
  2. Published Print: 4 MAY 2012

Book Series:

  1. JPL Space Science and Technology Series

Book Series Editors:

  1. Joseph H. Yuen

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118186459

Online ISBN: 9781118241400



  • ESD energy;
  • radiated field tests;
  • single-point discharge tests;
  • spacecraft systems;
  • spacecraft test techniques;
  • structure current tests;
  • test equipment


In this chapter, the philosophy and methods of testing spacecraft and spacecraft systems are reviewed. Ideally, both prototype and flight spacecraft should be tested in a charging simulation facility. They should be electrically isolated from ground and bombarded with electron, ion, and EUV radiation levels corresponding to substorm environment conditions. Tests at room ambient temperature using radiated and injected transients are more convenient. Several representative types of test equipment are tabulated and described here. The ESD energy can range from very small to large. In general, the method of application should simulate the expected ESD source as much as possible. Several typical methods are described here. These methods include: radiated field tests, single-point discharge tests, structure current tests, unit testing, and spacecraft testing.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

current distribution; electrostatic discharge; spacecraft charging; test equipment