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Spectroscopic consequences of Papadopoulos' discharge model of spacecraft ram glows


  • I. L. Kofsky


The gaseous and surface impact-excited ultraviolet, visible, and infrared emissions that would result from plasma interactions near the windward directed surfaces of satellites orbiting in the earth's F region are reviewed. No process in the electrical discharge that would produce the intense orange-red component of the glows seen on space shuttle and Atmospheric Explorer vehicles is identified. Spectroscopic and spatial-distribution measurements to determine the contribution to the excitation of the collisionlessly energized suprathermal electrons and ions are suggested.

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