The Plasma Instrumentation for the Galileo Mission



The plasma instrumentation (PLS) for the Galileo Mission comprises a nested set of four spherical-plate electrostatic analyzers and three miniature, magnetic mass spectrometers. The three-dimensional velocity distributions of positive ions and electrons, separately, are determined for the energyper-unit charge (E/Q) range of 0.9 V to 52 kV. A large fraction of the 4 π -steradian solid angle for charged particle velocity vectors is sampled by means of the fan-shaped field-of-view of 160°, multiple sensors, and the rotation of the spacecraft spinning section. The fields-of-view of the three mass spectrometers are respectively directed perpendicular and nearly parallel and anti-parallel to the spin axis of the spacecraft. These mass spectrometers are used to identify the composition of the positive ion plasmas, e.g., H+, O+, Na+, and S+, in the Jovian magnetosphere. The energy range of these three mass spectrometers is dependent upon the species. The maximum temporal resolutions of the instrument for determining the energy (E/Q) spectra of charged particles and mass (M/Q) composition of positive ion plasmas are 0.5 s. Three-dimensional velocity distributions of electrons and positive ions require a minimum sampling time of 20s, which is slightly longer than the spacecraft rotation period. The two instrument microprocessors provide the capability of inflight implementation of operational modes by ground-command that are tailored for specific plasma regimes, e.g., magnetosheath, plasma sheet, cold and hot tori, and satellite wakes, and that can be improved upon as acquired knowledge increases during the tour of the Jovian magnetosphere. Because the instrument is specifically designed for measurements in the environs of Jupiter with the advantages of previous surveys with the Voyager spacecraft, first determinations of many plasma phenomena can be expected. These observational objectives include field-aligned currents, three-dimensional ion bulk flows, pickup ions from the Galilean satellites, the spatial distribution of plasmas throughout most of the magnetosphere and including the magnetotail, and ion and electron flows to and from the Jovian ionosphere.


Plasma Sheet Spin Mode Entrance Aperture Galilean Satellite Electrostatic Analyzer 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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