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Proceedings Paper

Low-weight plasma instrument to be used in the inner heliosphere
Author(s): Thomas H. Zurbuchen; George Gloeckler; Jeff C. Cain; S. E. Lasley; W. Shanks
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Paper Abstract

In the proposed Mercury-Messenger mission, a satellite will approach the Sun to a distance of around 0.3 AU. A plasma instrument to be flown on this satellite provides a unique possibility to probe the inner heliosphere in a distance range which has previously only been investigated by the Helios missions. In addition, in situ observations of the low-energy ions in the Mercury magnetosphere can be performed for the first time. In some phase of the orbit pick-up ions from Mercury are also expected to be detected. Because of the tight mass constraints on this mission, a new low-weight plasma instrument FIPS was developed which is particularly suited for this near-solar plasma environment. It is a combination of an electrostatic deflection system and a linear time-of-flight system. Using numerical simulations we demonstrate the properties of this design and discuss possible applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 November 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3442, Missions to the Sun II, (2 November 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.330260
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas H. Zurbuchen, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
George Gloeckler, Univ. of Michigan and Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
Jeff C. Cain, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
S. E. Lasley, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
W. Shanks, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3442:
Missions to the Sun II
Clarence M. Korendyke, Editor(s)

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