AMPAS: A new active experiments mission

Torsten Neubert, B. Gilchrist, E. Ungstrup

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


A new concept for an active experiments mission is presented: The Active Magnetospheric Particle Acceleration Satellite (AMPAS). It is proposed to fly a dual-payload tethered satellite to study three important areas of magnetospheric physics: (1) electric and magnetic field structures of the Earth's magnetosphere, (2) electron beam-plasma interactions, and (3) far ultraviolet (FUV) signatures of energetic electron precipitation. The tethered system is to be flown in a gravity-gradient stabilized configuration with a 70 degrees circular orbit at altitudes in the range 300-800 km. The upper payload will carry two electron beam accelerators (1-10 keV, 1 A) and a plasma contactor to electrically neutralize the payload, while the lower payload will carry a complement of optical imaging and plasma diagnostics instrumentation. Upward directed beams are injected to ''sound'' electric and magnetic field structures, including parallel electric fields in the auroral region, while simultaneous optical instruments aimed downwards measure characteristics of reflected beam pulses precipitating into the upper atmosphere below the satellite. Downward directed beams, and simultaneous plasma wave, particle and optical measurements, are used for the investigation of beam-plasma interactions and electron precipitation studies. The payloads are to be connected by a 1-6 km long tether to be deployed in stages. The configuration of the beam source and the plasma and optical diagnostics on separate, tethered payloads allows the diagnostics to be performed outside of the disturbed region around the source payload, and plasma wave and particle observations of beam-plasma interactions to be performed at well-defined locations relative to the source.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationActive Experiments in Space Plasmas
PublisherPergamon Press
Publication date1995
ISBN (Print)0-08-042620-4
Publication statusPublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes
EventD4.1 Symposium of COSPAR Scientific Commission D on Active Experiments in Space Plasmas, at the 30th COSPAR Scientific Assembly - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: 11 Jul 199421 Jul 1994
Conference number: 30


ConferenceD4.1 Symposium of COSPAR Scientific Commission D on Active Experiments in Space Plasmas, at the 30th COSPAR Scientific Assembly
SeriesAdvances in Space Research


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