Document Type


Date of Degree


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Ware, Lawrence A.

Second Advisor

Van Allen, James A.


The satellite S-46 payload system was developed to study the belts of high intensity radiation surrounding the earth. In particular, it was designed to monitor the spatial and temporal intensity structure to a radial distance of about seven earth radii and for a one year period, to permit a crude study of particle composition and energy spectra, and to provide the first exploratory study of the very low energy component of the trapped radiation. The payload consisted of five detectors and their high voltage power supplies, electronic circuits to count and encode their outputs, a telemetry system, and a solar and chemical battery power system. The factors influencing the selection of the payload configuration and the satellite orbit are discussed, and a detailed description of the instumentation is included.

The satellite launch attempt on 23 March 1960 failed due to improper functioning of the second, third, and fourth stage rocket assembly. Operation of the instrumentation during the nine minute launch trajectory was, however, completely satisfactory. The detectors and electronics system are still believed capable of fulfilling the initial objectives, and a new set of instruments utilizing similar detectors is being prepared for flight in another satellite-launch vehicle configuration in 1961.


xvi, 308 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-158).


Copyright © 1960 George H. Ludwig Posted with permission of the author.