The Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms (ASPERA-4) for the Venus Express mission

S. Barabash*, J. A. Sauvaud, H. Gunell, H. Andersson, A. Grigoriev, K. Brinkfeldt, M. Holmström, R. Lundin, M. Yamauchi, K. Asamura, W. Baumjohann, T. L. Zhang, A. J. Coates, D. R. Linder, D. O. Kataria, C. C. Curtis, K. C. Hsieh, B. R. Sandel, A. Fedorov, C. MazelleJ. J. Thocaven, M. Grande, Hannu E.J. Koskinen, E. Kallio, T. Säles, P. Riihela, J. Kozyra, N. Krupp, J. Woch, J. Luhmann, S. McKenna-Lawlor, S. Orsini, R. Cerulli-Irelli, M. Mura, M. Milillo, M. Maggi, E. Roelof, P. Brandt, C. T. Russell, K. Szego, J. D. Winningham, R. A. Frahm, J. Scherrer, J. R. Sharber, P. Wurz, P. Bochsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (SciVal)


The general scientific objective of the ASPERA-4 (Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) experiment is to study the solar wind-atmosphere interaction and characterise the plasma and neutral gas environment in the near-Venus space through energetic neutral atom (ENA) imaging and local charged particle measurements. The studies to be performed address the fundamental question: How strongly do the interplanetary plasma and electromagnetic fields affect the Venusian atmosphere? The ASPERA-4 instrument comprises four sensors; two ENA sensors, electron and ion spectrometers. The neutral particle imager (NPI) provides measurements of the integral ENA flux (0.1-60 keV) with no mass and energy resolution but relatively high angular resolution. The neutral particle detector (NPD) provides measurements of the ENA flux, resolving velocity (0.1-10 keV) and mass (H and O) with a coarse angular resolution. The electron spectrometer (ELS) is a standard top-hat electrostatic analyser in a very compact design. These three sensors are located on a scanning platform providing a 4 π coverage. The instrument also contains an ion mass composition sensor, IMA (ion mass analyser). Mechanically, IMA is a separate unit electrically connected with the ASPERA-4 main unit. IMA provides ion measurements in the energy range 0.01-36 keV/q for the main ion components H+, He++, He+, and the ion group with M / q 20 - 80 amu / q.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1772-1792
Number of pages21
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • Energetic neutral atom imagers
  • Ion and electron analysers
  • Space instrumentation
  • Venus


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