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Plasma electron analysis: Voyager plasma science experimentThe Plasma Science Experiment (PLS) on the Voyager spacecraft provide data on the plasma ions and electrons in the interplanetary medium and the magnetospheres of the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn. A description of the analysis used to obtain electron parameters (density, temperature, etc.) from the plasma science experiment PLS electron measurements which cover the energy range from 10 eV to 5950 eV is presented. The electron sensor (D cup) and its transmission characteristics are described. A derivation of the fundamental analytical expression of the reduced distribution function F(e) is given. The electron distribution function F(e), used in the moment integrations, can be derived from F(e). Positive ions produce a correction current (ion feedthrough) to the measured electron current, which can be important to the measurements of the suprathermal electron component. In the case of Saturn, this correction current, which can either add to or subtract from the measured electron current, is less than 20% of the measured signal at all times. Comments about the corrections introduced by spacecraft charging to the Saturn encounter data, which can be important in regions of high density and shadow when the spacecraft can become negatively charged are introduced.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Sittler, E. C., Jr.
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 4, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1983
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:85037
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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