TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 50 (No. 3), pp. 223-228, 1998

Low Frequency plasma wave Analyzer (LFA) onboard the PLANET-B spacecraft

H. Matsumoto1, T. Okada2, K. Hashimoto1, I. Nagano3, S. Yagitani3, M. Tsutsui4, Y. Kasaba2, K. Tsuruda5, H. Hayakawa5, A. Matsuoka5, S. Watanabe6, H. Ueda7, I. Kimura8, Y. Kasahara9, Y. Omura1, T. Matsumura10, T. Imachi3, K. Ishisaka2, and Y. Tateno2

1Radio Atmospheric Science Center, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611, Japan
2Department of Electronics and Informatics, Toyama Prefectural University, Toyama 939-03, Japan
3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920, Japan
4Institute for Computer Sciences, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kyoto 603, Japan
5Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Sagamihara 229, Japan
6Communications Research Laboratory, Koganei 184, Japan
7Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Chiba University, Chiba 263, Japan
8Faculty of Information Science, Osaka Institute of Technology, Hirakata 573-01, Japan
9Department of Electrical Engineering II, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606, Japan
10Toshiba Information System Co. Ltd., Kawasaki 210, Japan

(Received August 13, 1997; Revised November 25, 1997; Accepted December 2, 1997)

Abstract: The Low Frequency plasma wave Analyzer, LFA, on board the PLANET-B spacecraft has been developed to measure the Martian plasma waves. Two orthogonal electric dipole wire antennas, 50 m tip-to-tip, in the spacecraft spin plane are used to measure plasma waves, dc electric fields, and the spacecraft potential relative to the ambient plasma. The LFA has capability to measure the wave spectrum in the band from 10 Hz to 32 kHz, and to capture the signal waveform in the band from dc to 32 kHz by using a 4 MByte memory. The LFA scientific objectives are to explore the following: (1) Macroscopic plasma environment and boundaries from the solar wind to the ionosphere, (2) Microscopic plasma phenomena induced by the interaction between the solar wind and the Martian atmosphere and the moon Phobos, (3) Generation and propagation of electromagnetic waves, (4) Plasma densities and waves in the nightside ionosphere and tail, and (5) Comparison of Martian plasma waves with those of other planets such as non-magnetized Venus and magnetized Earth.


Corresponding author E-mail: okada@pu-toyama.ac.jp


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