BackForwardInstrument:  SWICS 

Instrument details
Acronym SWICS
Full name Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer
Purpose To measure the elemental and ionic-charge composition and the temperature and mean speeds of all major solar wind ions from H through Fe
Short description Assemblage of an electrostatic analyzer with post-acceleration, followed by a time-of-flight (TOF), and energy/charge measurements in the range 16-60 keV/Q for Z from 1 to 26
Background Part of a package of instruments for solar observation
Scanning Technique Interplanetary observation from the L1 Lagrange libration point
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Large fraction of the interplanetary space, nearly continuous
Mass 6.3 kg Power 9 W Data Rate 500 bps

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1998 to ≥2026
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
  • Solar wind density
  • Solar wind temperature
  • Solar wind velocity
Secondary mission objectives
  • Alpha particles differential directional flux
  • Heavy ion flux energy and mass spectrum
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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
Proton differential directional flux3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space, low and medium energy (up to 1000 keV)
Alpha particles differential directional flux2 - very highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Low-medium energy range (<10 up to 100 MeV/n)
Solar wind density3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Inferred from Proton and Alpha-particle spectroscopy
Solar wind temperature3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Inferred from Proton and Alpha-particle spectroscopy
Solar wind velocity3 - highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Inferred from Proton and Alpha-particle spectroscopy
Heavy ion flux energy and mass spectrum4 - fairNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Low-medium energy range (<10 up to 100 MeV/n)