Helium, Oxygen, Proton, and Electron (HOPE) Mass Spectrometer for the Radiation Belt Storm Probes Mission
The HOPE mass spectrometer of the Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) mission (renamed the Van Allen Probes) is designed to measure the in situ plasma ion and electron fluxes over 4π sr at each RBSP spacecraft within the terrestrial radiation belts. The scientific goal is to understand the underlying physical processes that govern the radiation belt structure and dynamics. Spectral measurements for both ions and electrons are acquired over 1 eV to 50 keV in 36 log-spaced steps at an energy resolution ΔE FWHM/E≈15 \%. The dominant ion species (H+, He+, and O+) of the magnetosphere are identified using foil-based time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry with channel electron multiplier (CEM) detectors. Angular measurements are derived using five polar pixels coplanar with the spacecraft spin axis, and up to 16 azimuthal bins are acquired for each polar pixel over time as the spacecraft spins. Ion and electron measurements are acquired on alternate spacecraft spins. HOPE incorporates several new methods to minimize and monitor the background induced by penetrating particles in the harsh environment of the radiation belts. The absolute efficiencies of detection are continuously monitored, enabling precise, quantitative measurements of electron and ion fluxes and ion species abundances throughout the mission. We describe the engineering approaches for plasma measurements in the radiation belts and present summaries of HOPE measurement strategy and performance.
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Space Science Reviews