The NASA/Air Force Spacecraft Charging System Analyzer Program (Nascap-2K) is a comprehensive update, revision, and extension of several NASA and Air Force codes for predicting electrical charging of spacecraft. Nascap-2K integrates the capabilities and models included in four independent programs: NASCAP/LEO for low-Earth orbits, NASCAP/GEO for geosynchronous orbits, POLAR for auroral charging in polar orbits, and DynaPAC (Dynamic Plasma Analysis Code) for time-dependent plasma interactions. While each of the earlier codes works well for the range of problems for which it was designed, by today's standards these codes are difficult to learn, cumbersome to use, and overly restrictive in their geometric modeling capabilities. Nascap-2K incorporates these models into a single software package that includes spacecraft surface modeling, spatial gridding, environmental specifications, calculating scripting, and post-processing analysis and visualization. The provided material properties database includes values from earlier programs as well as values from recent measurements. Development of Nascap-2K continues with future capabilities to include interactions with dense plasma such as those produced by electric propulsion.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2006 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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This work was done by Myron Mandell and Victoria Davis of Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), and Jeffrey Hilton, formerly of SAIC, for Marshall Space Flight Center. For further information, contact Barbara Gardner at SAIC, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. MFS-31939-1/2056-1