Energetic particles and electromagnetic radiation (EM) from solar events and galactic cosmic rays can bombard and interact with satellites’ exposed surfaces, and sometimes possess enough energy to penetrate their surface. Among other known effects, the scenario can cause accelerated orbit decay due to atmospheric drag, sporadic and unexplainable errors in functions of sensitive parts, degradation of critical properties of structural materials, jeopardy of flight worthiness, transient and terminal health hazard to both onboard passengers and astronauts, and sometimes a catastrophic failure that can abruptly end satellite mission. The understanding of the dynamics of the space radiation environment and associated effects is critically important for satellites design and operation in ionospheric plasma environment, in which satellites are designed to function. In this chapter we review some satellite anomalies associated with the space radiation environment and conclude with mitigation effort that can reduce such impact.
Part of the book: Satellites Missions and Technologies for Geosciences