Instruments >> ASPERA-4

Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms

 Led by Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna , Sweden

ASPERA will investigate the interaction between the solar wind and the atmosphere of Venus by measuring outflowing particles from the planet’s atmosphere and the particles making up the solar wind. It will study how the molecules and ions escape the planet.

ASPERA-4 (Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) studies energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), ions and electrons. The experiment is designed to:

  • Investigate the interaction between the solar wind and the atmosphere of Venus
  • Characterise quantitatively the impact of plasma processes on the atmosphere
  • Determine the global distribution of plasma and neutral gas
  • Identify the mass composition and quantitatively characterise the flux of the out flowing atmospheric materials
  • Investigate the plasma domains of the near Venus environment
  • Provide undisturbed solar wind parameters

The instrument comprises four sensors:

  • Neutral Particle Imager (NPI), a simple ENA direction analyser that surveys ENA fluxes with high angular resolution
  • Neutral Particle Detector (NPD), performing ENA velocity and mass measurements
  • Ion Mass Analyser (IMA), a mass resolving spectrograph that provides measurements of the main ion components (H, H 2, He, and O)
  • Electron Spectrometer (ELS), performing electron energy measurements

 

More info

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=33964&fbodylongid=1442

Other Venus Express Instruments

  • MAG (Venus Express Magnetometer)
  • PFS (Planetary Fourier Spectrometer)
  • SPICAV/SOIR (Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer)
  • VeRa (Venus Radio Science Experiment)
  • VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer)
  • VMC (Venus Monitoring Camera)

 

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