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INSTITUTET FÖR RYMDFYSIK UPPSALA
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Swedish Institute of Space Physics (59o50.272'N, 17o38.786'E)
Student project at IRF Uppsala

Project work / Examensarbete (30 hp)

Simulations of Langmuir probes in space

Student: vacant
Supervisor: Anders Eriksson
Period: 20 weeks, starting soon as possible!

Background

Langmuir probes are conceptually simple instruments for the characterization of space plasma parameters like density, temperature and flow speed. During the years, we have built Langmuir probes for a number of spacecraft, of which the most recent are NASA's Cassini (at Saturn) and ESA's Rosetta (on its way to a comet).

There are a lot of theoretical investigations showing how to interpret Langmuir probe data and derive the plasma parameters from the primary current measurements. However, the detailed influence of perturbations from the spacecraft depends on the configuration on each spacecraft, and here no general theory exists. Numerical simulations are needed in most cases.

Project

Use the ESA-sponsored open-source package SPIS (Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System) to simulate the measurements on Rosetta and/or Cassini, and compare the simulations to actual data. The project will involve interactions with other scientists at IRF Uppsala and at KTH in Stockholm, and possibly with other research groups, particularly in France and at ESA's technical facility in Holland, ESTEC.

Completed and ongoing projects

There has been a series of students working on these kind of simulations, often working closely together and with other scientists abroad:

Contact

Anders.Eriksson@irfu.se


[Rosetta]
ESA's comet hunter Rosetta, with the two Langmuir probes from IRF Uppsala at the end of the booms protruding from the spacecraft. Each probe is a sphere of 50 mm diameter.

http://www.space.irfu.se/exjobb/probe_sim/index.html
last modified on Saturday, 05-Sep-2009 07:36:39 CEST