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Charged Particle Trap

NSSDCA ID: 1964-078C-03

Mission Name: Zond 2
Principal Investigators:Dr. V. V. Bezrukikh
Principal Investigators:Prof. Konstantin I. Gringauz


The Charged Particle Traps on Zond 2 were designed to investigate the plasma environments of the Earth, deep space, and Mars by measuring low energy protons, ions, and electrons. The experiment comprised a multi-electrode trap for the measurement of the energy spectrum of solar plasma streams and two three-electrode traps, a modified, slightly larger version of the instrument flown on the Mars 1 mission.

The main difference of the three-electrode traps from the previously flown versions was in the electrode potentials used. A system of screened grids separated the modulation grid from the collector. The collector potential was zero, and the potential on the inner (anti-photoelectron) grid was -70 V. The outer grid potentials were +50 V for one of the traps, and 0 V for the other. Positive ions with thermal velocities could get to the trap with 0 V, only positive ions with energies greater than 50 eV could enter the 50 V trap. Electrons with energies greater than 70 eV could enter both traps. The modulation grid voltage went through 8 steps from 230 to 3200 V over a period of 4 minutes, with an alternate rectangular voltage with an amplitude of 450 V and a frequency modulation of 1000 Hz. The alternate component of the collector current was proportional to the flux of positive particles in the corresponding energy range and was registered by a resonance amplifier tuned to the modulation frequency.

Despite the early loss of communications, the experiment was able to detect a link between geomagnetic disturbances and the intensiy of the solar plasma flux, in addition to the previously determined correlation between solar plasma velocities and geomagnetic disturbances.

Alternate Names

  • Zond2/ChargedParticleTrap


  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies
  • Planetary Science: Fields and Particles

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. V. V. BezrukikhOther Principal InvestigatorRussian Academy of Sciences
Prof. Konstantin I. GringauzPrincipal InvestigatorRussian Academy of Sciences
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