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The Plasma Wave Investigation (PWI) onboard the BepiColombo/MMO: First measurement of electric fields, electromagnetic waves, and radio waves around Mercury
KTH, School of Electrical Engineering (EES), Space and Plasma Physics.
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2010 (English)In: Planetary and Space Science, ISSN 0032-0633, E-ISSN 1873-5088, Vol. 58, no 1-2, 238-278 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The BepiColombo Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) spacecraft includes the plasma and radio wave observation system called Plasma Wave Investigation (PWI). Since the receivers for electric field, plasma waves, and radio waves are not installed in any of the preceding spacecraft to Mercury, the PWI will provide the first opportunity for conducting in-situ and remote-sensing observations of electric fields, plasma waves, and radio waves in the Hermean magnetosphere and exosphere. These observations are valuable in studying structure, dynamics, and energy exchange processes in the unique magnetosphere of Mercury. They are characterized by the key words of the non-MHD environment and the peculiar interaction between the relatively large planet without ionosphere and the solar wind with high dynamic pressure. The PWI consists of three sets of receivers (EWO, SORBET, and AM(2)P), connected to two sets of electric field sensors (MEFISTO and WPT) and two kinds of magnetic field sensors (LF-SC and DB-SC). The PWI will observe both waveforms and frequency spectra in the frequency range from DC to 10 MHz for the electric field and from 0.3 Hz to 640kHz for the magnetic field. From 2008, we will start the development of the engineering model, which is conceptually consistent with the flight model design. The present paper discusses the significance and objectives of plasma/radio wave observations in the Hermean magnetosphere, and describes the PWI sensors, receivers and their performance as well as the onboard data processing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 58, no 1-2, 238-278 p.
Keyword [en]
Mercury, Magnetosphere, Electric field, Plasma wave, Radio wave, Electron density and temperature, magnetospheric orbiter, hermean magnetosphere, noise spectroscopy, staff experiment, spacecraft, emissions, geotail, planets, density, mission
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-19273DOI: 10.1016/j.pss.2008.07.017ISI: 000275077600016ScopusID: 2-s2.0-74149089623OAI: diva2:337320
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2011-01-24Bibliographically approved

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Blomberg, Lars G.
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