The solar WIND and suprathermal ion composition investigation on the WIND spacecraft
- Cite this article as:
- Gloeckler, G., Balsiger, H., Bürgi, A. et al. Space Sci Rev (1995) 71: 79. doi:10.1007/BF00751327
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The Solar Wind and Suprathermal Ion Composition Experiment (SMS) on WIND is designed to determine uniquely the elemental, isotopic, and ionic-charge composition of the solar wind, the temperatures and mean speeds of all major solar-wind ions, from H through Fe, at solar wind speeds ranging from 175 kms−1 (protons) to 1280 kms−1 (Fe+8), and the composition, charge states as well as the 3-dimensional distribution functions of suprathermal ions, including interstellar pick-up He+, of energies up to 230 keV/e. The experiment consists of three instruments with a common Data Processing Unit. Each of the three instruments uses electrostatic analysis followed by a time-of-flight and, as required, an energy measurement. The observations made by SMS will make valuable contributions to the ISTP objectives by providing information regarding the composition and energy distribution of matter entering the magnetosphere. In addition SMS results will have an impact on many areas of solar and heliospheric physics, in particular providing important and unique information on: (i) conditions and processes in the region of the corona where the solar wind is accelerated; (ii) the location of the source regions of the solar wind in the corona; (iii) coronal heating processes; (iv) the extent and causes of variations in the composition of the solar atmosphere; (v) plasma processes in the solar wind; (vi) the acceleration of particles in the solar wind; and (vii) the physics of the pick-up process of interstellar He as well as lunar particles in the solar wind, and the isotopic composition of interstellar helium.