Peace: A plasma electron and current experiment

A. D. Johnstone, C. Alsop, S. Burge, P. J. Carter, Andrew J. Coates, A. J. Coker, A. N. Fazakerley, M. Grande, R. A. Gowen, C. Gurgiolo, B. K. Hancock, B. Narheim, A. Preece, P. H. Sheather, J. D. Winningham, R. D. Woodliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

512 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

An electron analyser to measure the three-dimensional velocity distribution of electrons in the energy range from 0.59 eV to 26.4 keV on the four spacecraft of the Cluster mission is described. The instrument consists of two sensors with hemispherical electrostatic energy analysers with a position-sensitive microchannel plate detectors placed to view radially on opposite sides of the spacecraft. The intrinsic energy resolutions of the two sensors are 12.7% and 16.5% full width at half maximum. Their angular resolutions are 2.8° and 5.3° respectively in an azimuthal direction and 15° in a polar direction. The two sensors will normally measure in different overlapping energy ranges and will scan the distribution in half a spacecraft rotation or 2 s in the overlapped range. While this is the fastest time resolution for complete distributions, partial distributions can be recorded in as little as 62.5 ms and angular distributions at a fixed energy in 7.8 ms. The dynamic range of the instrument is sufficient to provide accurate measurements of the main known populations from the tail lobe to the plasmasheet and the solar wind. While the basic structure of the instrument is conventional, special attention has been paid in the design to improving the precision of the instrument so that a relative accuracy of the order of 1% could be attained in flight in order to measure the gradients between the four spacecraft accurately; to decreasing the minimum energy covered by this technique from 10 eV down to 1 eV; and to providing good three dimensional distributions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-398
Number of pages48
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Volume79
Issue number1-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1997

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