Publication: Research - peer-review › Journal article – Annual report year: 2004
The Astrid-2 mission has dual primary objectives. First, it is an orbiting instrument platform for studying auroral electrodynamics. Second, it is a technology demonstration of the feasibility of using micro-satellites for innovative space plasma physics research. The EMMA instrument, which we discuss in the present paper, is designed to provide simultaneous sampling of two electric and three magnetic field components up to about 1 kHz. The spin plane components of the electric field are measured by two pairs of opposing probes extended by wire booms with a separation distance of 6.7 m. The probes have titanium nitride (TiN) surfaces. which has proved to be a material with excellent properties for providing good electrical contact between probe and plasma. The wire booms are of a new design in which the booms in the stowed position are wound around the exterior of the spacecraft body. The boom system was flown for the first time on this mission and worked flawlessly. The magnetic field is measured by a tri-axial fluxgate sensor located at the tip of a rigid. hinged boom extended along the spacecraft spin axis and facing away from the Sun. The new advanced-design fluxgate magnetometer uses digital signal processors for detection and feedback, thereby reducing the analogue circuitry to a minimum. The instrument characteristics as well as a brief review of the science accomplished and planned are presented.
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- ionosphere, auroral ionosphere, magnetospheric physics, magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions, space plasma physics, instruments and techniques