Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Particles and Fields Package Integrated on Upcoming Mars-Bound Spacecraft

15.03.2013
The six science instruments that comprise the Particles and Fields Package that will characterize the solar wind and ionosphere of Mars have been integrated aboard NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft. The spacecraft is on track for launch later this year.

The Solar Wind Electron Analyzer (SWEA) was the last of the six instruments to be delivered, and was integrated late last week at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colo. SWEA measures the properties of electrons at Mars, one electron at a time, and can process up to one million events per second.


NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft undergoes acoustics testing on Feb. 13, 2013 at Lockheed Martin Space Systems’ Reverberant Acoustic Laboratory. The environmental test simulates the maximum sound and vibration levels the spacecraft will experience during launch. MAVEN is the next mission to Mars and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. Credit: Lockheed Martin

The other instruments in the package had been delivered earlier. In addition to the SWEA instrument, the package includes the Solar Wind Ion Analyzer (SWIA), Suprathermal and Thermal Ion Composition (STATIC), Solar Energetic Particle (SEP), Langmuir Probe and Waves (LPW), Magnetometer (MAG), and a data-processing unit.

"The Particles and Fields Package is designed to study the solar wind interaction with Mars and the structure and dynamics of Mars' ionosphere, including the influence of Mars' strongly magnetized crust," said David L. Mitchell, SWEA instrument lead and coordinator for the full package, from the University of California, Berkeley/Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL). "The package measures solar ultraviolet flux, solar wind properties, and energetic particles produced in solar storms to help us understand how the Sun influences the upper atmosphere and drives atmospheric escape."

The package was built by the University of California, Berkeley/Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) with support from the University of Colorado Boulder/Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (CU/LASP) and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

"The final components of the science payload are coming together, so we’re getting closer to being ready for launch," said Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN principal investigator from CU/LASP. "I look forward to the exciting and diverse science results that the Particles and Fields Package instruments will provide.”

The MAVEN spacecraft will carry two other instrument suites. The Remote Sensing Package, built by CU/LASP, will determine global characteristics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere. The Neutral Gas and Ion Mass Spectrometer, provided by NASA Goddard, will measure the composition and isotopes of neutral ions.

“We’re in the home stretch now of completing the assembly and test of the spacecraft. With the full complement of Particles and Fields Package instruments now onboard the spacecraft, we are in a very good position for delivering the spacecraft to the launch site on schedule in August”, said David F. Mitchell, MAVEN project manager from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

MAVEN is scheduled for launch in November, 2013. It is the first spacecraft devoted to exploring and better understanding the Martian upper atmosphere. MAVEN will investigate the role that loss of Mars' atmosphere to space played in determining the history of water on the surface.

MAVEN’s principal investigator is based at the University of Colorado at Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. The university provides science instruments and leads science operations, and Education and Public Outreach. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the project and provides two of the science instruments for the mission. Lockheed Martin of Littleton, Colo., built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations. The University of California at Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory provides science instruments for the mission. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., provides navigation support, the Deep Space Network, and the Electra telecommunications relay hardware and operations. Goddard Release: 13-014

Nancy Neal Jones
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
301-286-0039
Nancy.N.Jones@nasa.gov

Nancy Neal Jones | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/maven/news/pfp-integrated.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
23.06.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>