BackForwardInstrument:  SWA 

Instrument details
Acronym SWA
Full name Solar Wind Plasma Analyser
Purpose To measure the ion and electron bulk properties (including, density, velocity, and temperature) of the solar wind, thereby characterising the solar wind between 0.28 and 1.4 AU from the Sun. In addition to determining the bulk properties of the wind, SWA provides measurements of solar wind ion composition for key elements (e.g. the C, N, O group and Fe, Si or Mg)
Short description Assemblage of 3 units: a) The Electron Analyzer System (SWA-EAS), range presumably 0.002-20 MeV; b) The Proton-Alpha Sensor (SWA-PAS), range 0.2-20 keV (protons) and 0.4-40 keV (alpha-particles; and c) The Heavy Ion Sensor (SWA-HIS) for Z up to 26 and energy presumably 0.005-200 MeV/n
Background New development
Scanning Technique Interplanetary space from a solar orbit
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Nearly full interplanetary space
Mass Power Data Rate

 

Providing Agency UKSA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: ≥2020 to ≥2030
Last update: 2017-06-05
Detailed characteristics
Satellites this instrument is flying on

Note: a red tag indicates satellites no longer operational, a green tag indicates operational satellites, a blue tag indicates future satellites

Instrument classification
  • Solar and space environment monitors
  • Energetic particle spectrometer
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Alpha particles differential directional flux
  • Electron differential directional flux
  • Heavy ion flux energy and mass spectrum
  • Proton differential directional flux
Secondary mission objectives
  • Solar wind density
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Tentative Evaluation of Measurements

The following list indicates which measurements can typically be retrieved from this category of instrument. To see a full Gap Analysis by Variable, click on the respective variable.

Note: table can be sorted by clicking on the column headers
VariableRelevance for measuring this variableOperational limitationsExplanation
Electron differential directional flux3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space, low, medium and high energy (up to over 400 keV)
Proton differential directional flux3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space, low energy (up to 40 keV)
Alpha particles differential directional flux2 - very highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Low-medium energy range (<10 up to 100 MeV/n)
Solar wind density1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Infrerred from Proton. Electron and Alpha-particle spectroscopy
Solar wind temperature1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Infrerred from Proton. Electron and Alpha-particle spectroscopy
Solar wind velocity1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Infrerred from Proton. Electron and Alpha-particle spectroscopy
Heavy ion flux energy and mass spectrum4 - fairNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Extended energy range (<10 to >100 MeV/n)