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Proceedings Paper

New estimates of test-mass charging in the LISA mission
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Paper Abstract

The accretion of electrostatic charge in the isolated LISA test masses due to energetic particles in the space environment hinders the drag-free operation of the gravitational inertial sensors. Robust predictions of charging rates and associated stochastic fluctuations are therefore required for the exposure scenarios expected throughout the mission. We report on detailed charging simulations with the Geant4 toolkit, using comprehensive geometry and physics models, for galactic cosmic-ray protons and helium nuclei. These predict net charging rates of up to +100 elementary charges per second during the solar minimum period, decreasing by half at solar maximum. Charging from sporadic solar events involving energetic protons was also investigated. Other physical processes hitherto overlooked as potential charging mechanisms have been assessed. Significantly, the kinetic emission of very low-energy secondary electrons due to bombardment of the inertial sensors by primary cosmic rays and their secondaries can produce charging currents comparable with the Monte Carlo rates.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5500, Gravitational Wave and Particle Astrophysics Detectors, (29 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.553195
Show Author Affiliations
Henrique Araujo, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
Peter Wass, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
Diana Shaul, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
Timothy John Sumner, Imperial College London (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5500:
Gravitational Wave and Particle Astrophysics Detectors
James Hough; Gary H. Sanders, Editor(s)

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