Space Electromagnetic and Plasma Sensor (SEAPS): A Laboratory Prototype for a Space Payload
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Space electromagnetic and plasma sensor is a proposed space payload consisting of an electric field vector sensor—a tri-axial arrangement of monopoles in a mutually orthogonal configuration—and a magnetic field vector sensor, which is a tri-axial arrangement of mutually perpendicular loop antennas. Both operate between 0.5 and 20 MHz in order to acquire the complete 3D polarization matrix. The antennas, which are meant to be electrically short, are matched with a high input impedance amplifier, followed by gain blocks, filters and a six-channel data acquisition system. Some of the proposed goals of the project include study of the low frequency Sun, plasma interactions between the solar wind and Earth’s magnetosphere, lunar atmosphere, and radio emission from other planets within the solar system. This article describes the construction of a laboratory prototype and preliminary calibration results.
KeywordsActive antennas Low frequency Radio astronomy Plasma
We would like to thank the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) for PLANEX Grant #GOI-A-574 under which this work was carried out along with some of the other students who helped out: Ankur Divekar, Gaurav Jagtap, Zahid Mohammed, and Minakshi Salpure. We would also like to thank SAC for their support thus far and for helping us test the prototype. We would like to express gratitude to Prof. P. Janardhan for his continued support on the project. Special thanks to our collaborators at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Dr. Jan Bergman and Mr. Lennart Ahlen, for the initial guidance and support in making the proposal and mission concept during the late 2000s and to the anonymous referee whose valuable comments helped improve the quality and content of this article.
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