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Fast Plasma Experiment (FPE) and Solar Wind Ion Experiment (SWE)

NSSDCA ID: 1977-102A-01

Mission Name: ISEE 1
Principal Investigator:Dr. John T. Gosling


This experiment was designed, in conjunction with a similar instrument (77-102B-01) provided by G. Paschmann of Max Planck Institute for flight on the daughter spacecraft, to study the plasma velocity distribution and its spatial and temporal variations in the solar wind, bow shock, magnetosheath, magnetopause, magnetotail, and magnetosphere. The FPE consists of three high efficience 90 degree spherical section electrostatic analyzers using large secondary emitters and discrete dynode multipliers to detect analyzed particles. Two of them, viewing in opposite directions, produce complete 2D velocity distribution measurements of both protons and electrons every spacecraft revolution. A third FPE analyzer with a divided emitter measures 3D distributions at a slower rate. Protons from 50 eV to 40 keV and electrons from 5 eV to 20 keV were measured The experiment operated in two ranges, with energy resolution for the several steps in each range of 10% of the center energy level. The Solar Wind Experiment (SWE) measures solar wind ions. It is composed of two 150 degree spherical section analyzers using the same set of plates. The two acceptance fans are tilted with respect to each other so that 3D characteristics of the ion distributions can be derived. The ion experiment had degraded by April 1980 and the density values are suspected to be too low in later years. To protect the instrument, this experiment was turned off whenever the spacecraft was below 30,000 km. The Fast Plasma Experiment (FPE) had degraded by January 1978.

Alternate Names

  • BAM
  • FPE
  • Fast Plasma Expt. (FPE): 5eV-20keV (e) 50ev-40keV(p); SW Ions: 184-6800 eV/q
  • High Time Resolution Plasma Experiment
  • ISEE1/FastPlasmaExperiment_FPE_andSolarWindIonExperiment_SWE_
  • SWE

Facts in Brief

Mass: 7.7 kg
Power (avg): 5 W

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


  • Space Physics: Magnetospheric Studies
  • Space Physics: Heliospheric Studies

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. H. Kent Hills



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Helmut R. RosenbauerOther InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur
Dr. Edward W. Hones, Jr.Other InvestigatorLos Alamos National
Prof. Karl SchindlerOther InvestigatorRuhr-Universitat Bochum
Dr. Michael D. MontgomeryOther InvestigatorLos Alamos National Laboratory
Dr. John R. AsbridgeOther InvestigatorLos Alamos National
Dr. Goetz PaschmannOther InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische
Dr. H. MiggenriederOther InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur Extraterrestrische Physik
Prof. Heinrich J. VolkOther InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur
Dr. William C. FeldmanOther InvestigatorLos Alamos National
Dr. John T. GoslingPrincipal InvestigatorLos Alamos National

Selected References

  • Bame, S. J., et al., ISEE-1 and ISEE-2 fast plasma experiment and the ISEE-1 solar wind experiment, IEEE Trans. on Geosci. Electron., GE-16, No. 3, 216-220, doi:10.1109/TGE.1978.294550, July 1978.
  • Gosling, J. T., et al., Effects of a long entrance aperture upon the azimuthal response of spherical section electrostatic analyzers, Rev. Sci. Instrum., 49, No. 9, 1260-1268, doi:10.1063/1.1135566, Sept. 1978.
  • Papamastorakis, I., et al., ISEE plasma observations near the subsolar magnetopause, Space Sci. Rev., 22, No. 6, 717-737, doi:10.1007/BF00212620, Dec. 1978.
  • Russell, C. T., et al., Multiple spacecraft observations of interplanetary shocks: ISEE three-dimensional plasma measurements, J. Geophys. Res., 88, No. A12, 9941-9947, doi:10.1029/JA088iA12p09941, Dec. 1983.
  • Gosling, J. T., et al., Suprathermal ions upstream from interplanetary shocks, J. Geophys. Res., 89, No. A7, 5409-5418, doi:10.1029/JA089iA07p05409, July 1984.
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