Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging
Spacecraft Interactions with Space Plasmas
Shu T. Lai


As commercial and military spacecraft become more important to the world's economy and defense, and as new scientific and exploratory missions are launched into space, the need for a single comprehensive resource on spacecraft charging becomes increasingly critical. Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging is the first and only textbook to bring together all the necessary concepts and equations for a complete understanding of the subject. Written by one of the field's leading authorities, this essential reference enables readers to fully grasp the newest ideas and underlying physical mechanisms related to the electrostatic charging of spacecraft in the space environment.

Assuming that readers may have little or no background in this area, this complete textbook covers all aspects of the field. The coverage is detailed and thorough, and topics range from secondary and backscattered electrons, spacecraft charging in Maxwellian plasmas, effective mitigation techniques, and potential wells and barriers to operational anomalies, meteors, and neutral gas release. Significant equations are derived from first principles, and abundant examples, exercises, figures, illustrations, and tables are furnished to facilitate comprehension. Fundamentals of Spacecraft Charging is the definitive reference on the physics of spacecraft charging and is suitable for advanced undergraduates, graduate-level students, and professional space researchers.

Shu T. Lai is currently a visiting scientist at the Space Propulsion Laboratory, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a senior editor for IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was formerly a senior physicist at the Space Weather Center of Excellence, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.