Radiation Belt Storm Probes\textemdashObservatory and Environments
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration\textquoterights (NASA\textquoterights) Radiation Belt Storm Probe (RBSP) is an Earth-orbiting mission that launched August 30, 2012, and is the latest science mission in NASA\textquoterights Living with a Star Program. The RBSP mission will investigate, characterize and understand the physical dynamics of the radiation belts, as well as the influence of the Sun on the Earth\textquoterights environment, by measuring particles, electric and magnetic fields and waves that comprise geospace. The mission is composed of two identically instrumented spinning observatories in an elliptical orbit around earth with 600 km perigee, 30,000 km apogee and 10o inclination to provide full sampling of the Van Allen radiation belts. The twin RBSP observatories (recently renamed the Van Allen Probes) will follow slightly different orbits and will lap each other four times per year, offering simultaneous measurements over a range of observatory separation distances. A description of the observatory environment is provided along with protection for sensitive electronics to support operations in the harsh radiation belt environment. Spacecraft and subsystem key characteristics and instrument accommodations are included that allow the RBSP science objectives to be met.
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Space Science Reviews
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