MSSL PRD Case for Support: Solar Wind Plasma Analyser/Electron Analyser System for Solar Orbiter

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Mullard Space Science Laboratory

Abstract

One of the key measurement goals for the ESA Solar Orbiter mission is to characterise the particle populations found in the solar wind, particularly in the unexplored 'inner heliosphere' region close to the Sun. In doing so, we will be able to obtain clues to both the physical processes that occur between plasmas and magnetic fields in the solar wind, to examine the effect of solar wind structures, such as coronal mass ejections, as they propagate away from the Sun, and also to make the important link between the solar wind and the activity in the Solar atmosphere in order to understand how the solar wind and the structures within it are formed. UCl/MSSL is part of an international consortium which will propose to build the instruments that will measure the charged particle populations in the solar wind. In particular, MSSL will provide the 2 sensors that are required to make a complete measurement of the electron populations within the solar wind. Since the Solar Orbiter mission will go closer to the Sun than any previous mission, there are a number of technical challenges that must be overcome in order to achieve the required measurements and gain the required science return. We have built a prototype sensor which is under test within the MSSL thermal vacuum chambers. Further testing and design work is required to tune the sensors to maximise their effectiveness in the inner heliospheric environment. In addition MSSL is required to collaborate with ESA in order to ensure that the interfaces between our sensors and the spacecraft are well defined and appropriate. The purpose of the tasks proposed here are to carry out these design and trade-off studies in order to maximise the chances of scientific success once the instrument is built and the mission launched.

Publications

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Kataria, DO And Collinson, G And Coates, AJ And Fazakerley, A And Owen, CJ And Taylor, B And Bradley, L (2007) Performance of a prototype electrostatic analyzer for future solar and heliophysics mission - art. no. 668912

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Macneil A (2019) Active Region Modulation of Coronal Hole Solar Wind in The Astrophysical Journal

 
Description This grant funded the assessment of the design for the UCL/MSSL prototype for the electron sensor for the Solar Orbiter SWA suite of sensors. This work led to the confirmation of the mission and the instruments by ESA.
Exploitation Route This work has fed into the development work for the instrument which will be included in the scientific payload for Solar Orbiter and launched in 2017. Development of certain subsystems (e.g. miniature high-voltage generators) can be used for further space and ground based applications.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Electronics

 
Description Findings have been fed into the design and ongoing construction of the SWA electron sensor for Solar Orbiter, following confirmation of the mission in 2011.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine
 
Description PPRP/Cosmic Visions Funding
Amount £61,000 (GBP)
Funding ID ST/H001174/1 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2009 
End 01/2010
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation Charles University
Department Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Country Czech Republic 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation Laboratory of Plasma Physics (LPP)
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Department Goddard Space Flight Center
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation National Research Council
Department Institute of Interplanetary Space Physics
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology
Country France 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation Southwest Research Institute (SwRI)
Department Space Research
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation University of Michigan
Department Space Research Building (SRB)
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Description SWA Consortium 
Organisation University of New Hampshire
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We (UCL/MSSL) are the Principle Investigator Institution for the Solar Orbiter SWA (Solar Wind Analyser) suite of instruments, with responsibility for leading and managing the whole of the international consortium. As well as scientific and technical leadership of the entire suite, UCL/MSSL is responsible for the specific design and build of the the Electron Analyser System (EAS).
Collaborator Contribution We are directly collaborating with LPP on the provision of an electron analyser system (EAS) for Solar Orbiter. We will contribute an FPGA to the Proton-Alpha Sensor (PAS), the design and build of which is the responsibility of the French IRAP team. the czech group will also contribute to PAS. IRAP will collaborate with the US groups on the design and build of the Heavy ion sensor (HIS).
Impact We are now in the build phase of the project. This collection of grants has supported the study, assessment and definition phases of the project as well as providing support for developing the original proposal and securing the leadership of the consortium. The consortium successfully passed its European Space Agency Preliminary Design Review in Summer 2012. The Critical Design Review will be held in Oct/Nov 2013. The structural and thermal models of the instruments are also nearing completion for delivery in summer 2013. Many hundreds of consortium documents have been generated over this time.
Start Year 2006
 
Title SWA/EAS Prototype 
Description Development culminated in 2012 after many years work supported by a number of Solar Orbiter-related grants. The new analyser for Solar Orbiter incorporates novel features: i) Aperture deflection system ii) Variable Geometric Factor iii) Miniaturised HV and other electronic systems Charged particle detectors 
Type Of Technology Detection Devices 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact Prototype meets challenging mass and power restrictions for the mission while maintaining, indeed improving, scientific performance. Potential applications for Space Weather related activities. Subsystems (e.g. mini-HV supplies) of potential in a wide ra