Electric Field and Waves Suite (EFW)

The EFW SOC can be found here.

EFW will study the electric fields in near-Earth space that energize radiation particles and modify the structure of the inner magnetosphere.

EFW Science Investigation Objectives:

Measure electric fields associated with a variety of mechanisms causing particle energization, scattering and transport in the inner magnetosphere, including:

  • Energization by substorm injection fronts propagating in from the magnetotail
  • Transport and energization by intense magnetosonic waves generated by interplanetary shock impacts upon the magnetosphere
  • Why Measure E on Van Allen Probes?
    • In collisionless plasmas, such as the Earth’s radiation belts, the electromagnetic field is responsible for all observed particle acceleration.
Key Measurement Quantities:
  • Spin axis component of E at DC - 12 Hz (~3 mV/m accuracy)
  • Spacecraft potential estimate covering cold plasma densities of 0.1 to ~100 cm-3 at 1-second cadence
  • Burst recordings of high-frequency E- and B-field waveforms, as well as individual sensor potentials for interferometric analyses