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Mass Spectrometer (MS)

NSSDCA ID: 1974-055A-01

Mission Name: Aeros-B
Principal Investigator:Dr. Dieter K. H. Krankowsky


A quadrupole mass spectrometer provided measurements of the neutral and ionized constituents in the upper atmosphere. The major sensor components were the stainless steel ion source, quadrupole analyzer, and the ion detection system. The mass range from 1 to 44 atomic mass units (u) was the same for both the neutral and ion measurement mode, and was covered in 610 ms. In the standard format for collecting data, neutral measurements were made for one spin period, followed by ion measurements during the next spin period. In the neutral mode of operation, the gas particles were ionized by a 75-eV, 100-microamp electron beam emitted from either of two filaments. The positive source potential prevented positive ions from entering the ion source. When operating in the ion mode, the source potentials were changed to sample the atmospheric ions. Leaving the analyzer, the ion current entered a 16-stage, copper-beryllium electron multiplier. The electron multiplier output current was recorded by a log electrometer with a range from 5.E-12 to 5.E-6 A. Approximately one-half of the ion beam to the multiplier was interrupted by an ion collector grid and recorded by a linear electrometer. The full range sensitivity of this electrometer changed periodically from 1.E-10 to 1.E-11 A. Neglecting the ram contribution, the basic sensitivity of the instrument was 0.23 A/torr. Overall sensitivity was adjustable by command. More experiment details can be found in the paper by D. Krankowsky et al., J. Geophys., v. 40, n. 5, p. 601, 1974.

Alternate Names

  • Aeros-B/MS
  • MS

Facts in Brief

Mass: 7 kg
Power (avg): 8 W

Funding Agencies

  • Gesellschaft fuer Weltraumforschung, Germany (Federal Republic of Germany)
  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Space Physics: Thermospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Dieter K. Bilitza



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Peter LaemmerzahlOther InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur Kernphysik
Dr. Dieter K. H. KrankowskyPrincipal InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur
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