Electrostatic Remediation of Radiation Belts

Results of Preliminary Analysis of HiVOLT Concept
TUI has conducted detailed numerical and analytical studies of the potential of the HiVOLT System concept for reducing the flux of radiation within the inner electron belt. Using a relativistic Monte-Carlo trajectory simulation code in conjunction with a simulation of tether orbit dynamics and radiation belt flux transport, we modeled the evolution of the inner electron belt with and without the remediation system during an active solar period. Figure 3 shows the unremediated flux intensities across the radiation belt in a case where two solar flare events inject energetic electrons into the belts. Figure 4 shows the same case but with remediation by a system of 25 2-kW HiVOLT electrostatic tether structures. The results of this simulation indicate that the HiVOLT System can dramatically reduce the exposure of spacecraft and people in low Earth orbit to radiation trapped in the Van Allen belts.

natural decay
Figure 3. Unremediated inner electron belt during a period where two solar flares inject electrons into the belt.

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Figure 4. Remediation of the inner electron belt by a HiVOLT system during a period where two solar flares inject electrons into the belt.

This reduction in the levels of radiation in the inner belt could enable longer lifetimes for spacecraft in LEO, as well as reduce the dangers of radiation exposure to personnel living in orbit.

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