Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Planetary Atmospheres".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 June 2024 | Viewed by 15072

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Interests: space plasma; space exploration; instrumentation for space exploration
National Space Science Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Interests: space physics; space plasma; space magnetic field

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Space plasma is found widely, whether in near Earth or deep space. It is the main subject investigated in the field of space physics and space weather, and affects not only human’s space activities but also has major implications for socioeconomic life. Its characteristics have been studied and explored for more than half a century, but remain many mysteries to be researched and explored.

The aim of this Special Issue is to demonstrate the newly measured and studied characteristics of space plasma and will mainly focus on the following aspects:

  • The most recent results and related research about space plasma based on data from space missions (especially those from Chinese missions and from joint research conducted with international missions);
  • The development of new instrument designs for space plasma exploration for current or future space missions;
  • The modeling and simulation of different space plasma.

The research areas and topics of discussion include the ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth, the solar wind, the space plasma near extraterrestrial objects (e.g. the moon, the Mars, asteroids and comets), etc.

Prof. Dr. Aibing Zhang
Dr. Lei Li
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • space plasma
  • ionosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth
  • the solar wind
  • plasma near the Moon and the Mars
  • plasma near asteroids and comets
  • data analysis
  • instrument design
  • modeling and simulation

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 4074 KiB  
Article
FY-3E Satellite Plasma Analyzer
by Zheng Tian, Aibing Zhang, Xiangzhi Zheng, Linggao Kong, Bin Su, Bin Liu, Jianjing Ding, Wenjing Wang, Chao Liu, Yulong Lv, Jun Gao and Ling Ma
Atmosphere 2024, 15(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos15010014 - 21 Dec 2023
Viewed by 659
Abstract
The FY-3E satellite plasma analyzer marks China’s first detection of the characteristics, occurrence, and development of the typical plasma environment in the dawn–dusk orbit space. It provides data source support for operational space weather alerts and forecasts, helps ensure the in-orbit safety of [...] Read more.
The FY-3E satellite plasma analyzer marks China’s first detection of the characteristics, occurrence, and development of the typical plasma environment in the dawn–dusk orbit space. It provides data source support for operational space weather alerts and forecasts, helps ensure the in-orbit safety of the satellite, and accumulates space environment detection data for space environment modeling and space physics research. This paper gives a detailed introduction to the detection technology adopted by the FY-3E satellite plasma analyzer. We calibrated its performance through a calibration experiment and then analyzed and compared it with similar instruments in China. It is indicated that the instrument is capable of measuring an ion energy spectrum of 24 eV~32 keV and an electron energy spectrum of 23.7 eV~31.6 keV, its field of view reaches 180° × 90°, and the inversed measurement range of spacecraft absolute potential is better than −30 kV~+30 kV. All these contribute to a notably improved technology for plasma and satellite potential detection of China’s LEO satellites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma)
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14 pages, 10699 KiB  
Article
Ground Calibration and In-Flight Performance of the Low Energy Particle Analyzer on FY-4B
by Bin Su, Anqin Chen, Mohan Liu, Linggao Kong, Aibing Zhang, Zheng Tian, Bin Liu, Xinyue Wang, Wenjing Wang, Xiaoxin Zhang, Weiguo Zong, Xiangzhi Zheng and Jinsong Wang
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1834; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121834 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 774
Abstract
The FY-4B satellite is one of the second generation of China’s geosynchronous meteorological satellites aiming at numerical weather forecasts. The space environment monitoring package (SEMP) onboard the FY-4B is a comprehensive instrument package for plasma, high-energy particle, and energetic neutral particle measurements. The [...] Read more.
The FY-4B satellite is one of the second generation of China’s geosynchronous meteorological satellites aiming at numerical weather forecasts. The space environment monitoring package (SEMP) onboard the FY-4B is a comprehensive instrument package for plasma, high-energy particle, and energetic neutral particle measurements. The low-energy particle analyzer (LEPA) is one of the instruments of the SEMP and consists of two top hat electrostatic analyzers designed for plasma detection. The electron and ion sensors are back-to-back assembled and are integrated to a shared electronic box. It measures the three-dimensional velocity distribution of low-energy electrons and ions on the geosynchronous orbit. In this paper, we present the ground calibration and in-flight performance of the instrument. With the electrostatic deflectors and the cylindrically symmetric structure, the instrument provides high-cadence measurements of electron and ion velocity distributions with a wide field of view (FOV) of 180° by 100°, an angular resolution of 16.7° × 20°, and a broad energy range for both the electrons and ions from tens of eV to above 30 keV, with a 1 s time resolution. The geometric factors of the electron and ion analyzers are 1.1 × 10−3 cm2·sr·eV/eV and 1.4 × 10−3 cm2·sr·eV/eV, respectively, which fulfills the requirements of the low-energy plasma measurement. The LEPA monitored typical space environment disturbance such as geomagnetic storms and successfully recorded the responses of plasma energy fluxes. Satellite surface charging events were measured, with the highest potentials of −2000 V in the shadow period and −500 V in the nonshadow period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma)
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10 pages, 4549 KiB  
Communication
The Plasma In Situ Detection on China’s Space Station Wentian Module: Instrument Description and First Results
by Chao Liu, Aibing Zhang, Xianguo Zhang, Yueqiang Sun, Yibing Guan, Wenjing Wang, Bin Liu and Xiangzhi Zheng
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1805; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121805 - 09 Dec 2023
Viewed by 681
Abstract
The plasma in situ detector is a multi-sensor package designed to in situ measure the bulk parameters of the local ionospheric plasma. The plasma in situ detector is comprised of three sensors: Langmuir probe (LP), retarding potential analyzer (RPA) and ion drift meter [...] Read more.
The plasma in situ detector is a multi-sensor package designed to in situ measure the bulk parameters of the local ionospheric plasma. The plasma in situ detector is comprised of three sensors: Langmuir probe (LP), retarding potential analyzer (RPA) and ion drift meter (IDM). LP measures electron density and temperature. RPA measures ion density, temperature and ion horizontal velocity. IDM measures the transverse horizontal component of the ram velocity. The plasma in situ detector has been installed outside the wentian module cabin, and the boom has been successfully deployed which extends the spherical sensor of LP beyond the sheath of the cabin. RPA and IDM were installed at the front of the experiment package, with the horizontal axis direction along the forward flight direction of the space station. This paper discusses the general performance characteristics of the in situ detector, the functional performance of each sensor, and initial results of some classical ionospheric features being observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma)
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25 pages, 1429 KiB  
Article
Catalog of Geomagnetic Storms with Dst Index ≤ −50 nT and Their Solar and Interplanetary Origin (1996–2019)
by Rositsa Miteva and Susan W. Samwel
Atmosphere 2023, 14(12), 1744; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14121744 - 27 Nov 2023
Viewed by 11851
Abstract
We present a comprehensive catalog of geomagnetic storms (GSs) with a Dst index 50 nT detected during solar cycles (SCs) 23 and 24 (1996–2019). About 550 events were identified in the Kyoto database and used as a starting point for this [...] Read more.
We present a comprehensive catalog of geomagnetic storms (GSs) with a Dst index 50 nT detected during solar cycles (SCs) 23 and 24 (1996–2019). About 550 events were identified in the Kyoto database and used as a starting point for this study. The solar origin of the GSs, in terms of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), solar flares (SFs), and in situ-observed energetic particles, was identified where possible using temporal constraints and wide Earth-directed ejecta. In addition, any accompanied interplanetary (IP) sources, such as ICMEs and IP shock waves detected at 1 AU, are also considered. The resulting occurrence rates and correlation plots are presented and discussed in the space weather framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma)
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13 pages, 5139 KiB  
Article
Plasma Analyzer for the Chinese FY-3E Satellite: In-Orbit Performance and Ground Calibration
by Xinyue Wang, Xiaoxin Zhang, Jinhua Wang, Cong Huang, Jiawei Li, Aibing Zhang, Linggao Kong, Dan Du, Yong Yang, Pengfei Zhang, Bin Su, Bin Liu and Zheng Tian
Atmosphere 2023, 14(11), 1665; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14111665 - 09 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
The plasma analyzer (PMA) on the Fengyun-3E (FY-3E) meteorological satellite series is a critical sensor of the space environment monitoring package that is capable of the comprehensive in situ detection of the thermal plasma environment and surface discharge effects. In this paper, we [...] Read more.
The plasma analyzer (PMA) on the Fengyun-3E (FY-3E) meteorological satellite series is a critical sensor of the space environment monitoring package that is capable of the comprehensive in situ detection of the thermal plasma environment and surface discharge effects. In this paper, we conducted a thorough evaluation of the PMA’s performance and reliability through a combination of ground-based laboratory calibration and in-orbit testing. During the ground-based calibration, the PMA underwent assessments for the energy range, field of view (FOV), and measurement accuracy, and obtained the detection accuracy and the geometric factors. During the in-orbit testing, the PMA successfully obtained the typical distribution characteristics of low-energy ions and electrons in orbital space regions, as well as the precipitating particles in the middle and high latitudes of both hemispheres. Notably, the PMA observed an expansion of the particle distribution in the high-latitude regions during a moderate geomagnetic storm. The results from both the ground-based calibration and in-orbit testing demonstrated that the PMA met the requirements for thermal plasma detection, with reliable and scientifically valid in-orbit detection data. These results provide a crucial foundation for studying spatial weather variations, improving the accuracy of space environment forecasts and enhancing disaster detection and monitoring capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research and Space-Based Exploration on Space Plasma)
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