, Volume 105, Issue 3-4, pp 627-660

The Plasma Ion and Electron Instruments for the Genesis Mission

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Abstract

The Genesis Ion Monitor (GIM) and the Genesis Electron Monitor (GEM) provide 3-dimensional plasma measurements of the solar wind for the Genesis mission. These measurements are used onboard to determine the type of plasma that is flowing past the spacecraft and to configure the solar wind sample collection subsystems in real-time. Both GIM and GEM employ spherical-section electrostatic analyzers followed by channel electron multiplier (CEM) arrays for detection and angle and energy/charge analysis of incident ions and electrons. GIM is of a new design specific to Genesis mission requirements whereas the GEM sensor is an almost exact copy of the plasma electron sensors currently flying on the ACE and Ulysses spacecraft, albeit with new electronics and programming. Ions are detected at forty log-spaced energy levels between ∼ 1 eV and 14 keV by eight CEM detectors, while electrons with energies between ∼ 1 eV and 1.4 keV are measured at twenty log-spaced energy levels using seven CEMs. The spin of the spacecraft is used to sweep the fan-shaped fields-of-view of both instruments across all areas of the sky of interest, with ion measurements being taken forty times per spin and samples of the electron population being taken twenty four times per spin. Complete ion and electron energy spectra are measured every ∼ 2.5 min (four spins of the spacecraft) with adequate energy and angular resolution to determine fully 3-dimensional ion and electron distribution functions. The GIM and GEM plasma measurements are principally used to enable the operational solar wind sample collection goals of the Genesis mission but they also provide a potentially very useful data set for studies of solar wind phenomena, especially if combined with other solar wind data sets from ACE, WIND, SOHO and Ulysses for multi-spacecraft investigations.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.