BackForwardInstrument:  PLP 

Instrument details
Acronym PLP
Full name Planar Langmuir Probe
Purpose To collect auxiliary data needed to interpret the ion drift measurement performed by other instruments on the same platform.
Short description Suite of sensors to measure spacecraft potential, electron temperature, and density. By interpreting the measured current/voltage characteristic the plasma parameters are being determined.
Background Consolidated technology
Scanning Technique Crossing the magnetosphere along a low-inclination elliptical orbit
Resolution N/A
Coverage / Cycle Large fraction of magnetosphere and ionosphere
Mass Power Data Rate


Providing Agency DoD
Instrument Maturity Flown on an R&D satellite
Utilization Period: 2008 to 2015-11-28
Last update: 2017-04-22
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
  • Field or radiowave sensor
Mission objectives
Primary mission objectives
  • Electron Density
  • Ionospheric plasma density
Secondary mission objectives
  • Electric Field
  • Ionospheric plasma velocity
Opportunity objectives
  • Ionospheric Scintillation
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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
Electric Field4 - fairNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Electric field
Ionospheric plasma density4 - fairNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Ionospheric plasma density
Ionospheric plasma velocity1 - primaryNo specific limitation.Eart's limb. Plasma velocity
Electron Density4 - fairNo specific limitation.Platform. Electron density
Ionospheric Scintillation2 - very highNo specific limitation.Earth's limb. Scintillations