Analysis of photoelectron effect on the antenna impedance via Particle-In-Cell simulation

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Abstract

[1] We present photoelectron effects on the impedance of electric field antennas used for plasma wave investigations. To illustrate the photoelectron effects, we applied electromagnetic Particle-In-Cell simulation to the self-consistent antenna impedance analysis. We confirmed the formation of a dense photoelectron region around the sunlit surfaces of the antenna and the spacecraft. The dense photoelectrons enhance the real part, and decrease the absolute value of the imaginary part, of antenna impedance at low frequencies. We also showed that the antenna conductance can be analytically calculated from simulation results of the electron current flowing into or out of the antenna. The antenna impedance in the photoelectron environment is represented by a parallel equivalent circuit consisting of a capacitance and a resistance, which is consistent with empirical knowledge. The results also imply that the impedance varies with the spin of the spacecraft, which causes the variation of the photoelectron density around the antenna.

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