The Radio Plasma Imager investigation on the IMAGE spacecraft
- Cite this article as:
- Reinisch, B., Haines, D., Bibl, K. et al. Space Science Reviews (2000) 91: 319. doi:10.1023/A:1005252602159
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Radio plasma imaging uses total reflection of electromagnetic waves from plasmas whose plasma frequencies equal the radio sounding frequency and whose electron density gradients are parallel to the wave normals. The Radio Plasma Imager (RPI) has two orthogonal 500-m long dipole antennas in the spin plane for near omni-directional transmission. The third antenna is a 20-m dipole along the spin axis. Echoes from the magnetopause, plasmasphere and cusp will be received with the three orthogonal antennas, allowing the determination of their angle-of-arrival. Thus it will be possible to create image fragments of the reflecting density structures. The instrument can execute a large variety of programmable measuring options at frequencies between 3 kHz and 3 MHz. Tuning of the transmit antennas provides optimum power transfer from the 10 W transmitter to the antennas. The instrument can operate in three active sounding modes: (1) remote sounding to probe magnetospheric boundaries, (2) local (relaxation) sounding to probe the local plasma frequency and scalar magnetic field, and (3) whistler stimulation sounding. In addition, there is a passive mode to record natural emissions, and to determine the local electron density, the scalar magnetic field, and temperature by using a thermal noise spectroscopy technique.