BackForwardInstrument:  PLASMA 

Instrument details
Acronym PLASMA
Full name 3-D Plasma and Energetic Particles Experiment
Purpose To measure ions and electrons of the solar wind and into the energy particle range
Short description Assemblage of three basic elements, each designed to cover a different part of the suprathermal particle population: Semiconductor Telescopes (SST); Electron Electrostatic Analyzers (EESA); and Ion Electrostatic Analyzers (PESA). Energy range: 3 eV to 1 MeV (electrons) and 3 eV to 11 MeV (protons)
Background Part of a package of instruments to observe the solar wind
Scanning Technique Sun pointing from the L1 Lagrange libration point
Resolution N/A (full disk)
Coverage / Cycle Full Sun disk, nearly continuous from the L1 Lagrange point
Mass Power Data Rate

 

Providing Agency NASA
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 1996-11-15 to ≥2020
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
  • Electron differential directional flux
  • Proton differential directional flux
Secondary mission objectives
  • Solar wind density
  • Solar wind temperature
  • Solar wind velocity
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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, medium and high energy (up to over 1000 keV)
Solar wind density2 - very highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Inferred by Elecron and Proton spectroscopy
Solar wind temperature2 - very highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Inferred by Elecron and Proton spectroscopy
Solar wind velocity2 - very highNo specific limitation.Interplanetary space. Inferred by Elecron and Proton spectroscopy