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Quasi-static and low-frequency electric fields (0.1-200 mV/m, frequency < 1000Hz)

NSSDCA ID: 1977-102A-06

Mission Name: ISEE 1
Principal Investigator:Prof. Forrest S. Mozer


The objective of this experiment was to study quasi-static and low-frequency electric fields in the plasmasphere, magnetosphere, magnetosheath, and solar wind. Measurements were made of the potential difference between a pair of 8-cm diameter vitreous carbon spheres which were separated by 73.5 m and mounted on the ends of wire booms in the satellite spin plane. To attempt to overcome the spacecraft sheath (a potential problem which plagues all electric field detectors), an electron gun for changing the spacecraft potential was included, and all exposed spacecraft surfaces were made electrically conducting. The instrument was designed to be sensitive to fields from 0.1 to 200 mV/m in the frequency band of 0 to 12 Hz. The experiment also measured the electric field component of waves at frequencies below 1000 Hz.

Alternate Names

  • DC Electric Fields
  • ISEE1/Quasi-staticandlow-frequencyelectricfields

Facts in Brief

Mass: 10.2 kg
Power (avg): 3 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. Cynthia A. CattellGeneral ContactUniversity of California,
Dr. Michael C. KelleyOther InvestigatorCornell
Prof. Forrest S. MozerPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of California,

Selected References

  • Mozer, F. S., et al., Measurements of quasi-static and low-frequency electric fields with spherical double probes on the ISEE-1 spacecraft, IEEE Trans. Geosci. Electron., GE-16, No. 3, 258-261, doi:10.1109/TGE.1978.294558, July 1978.
  • Mozer, F. S., et al., Direct observation of a tangential electric field component at the magnetopause, Geophys. Res. Lett., 6, No. 4, 305-308, doi:10.1029/GL006i004p00305, Apr. 1979.
  • Mozer, F. S., et al., Electric field measurements in the solar wind, bow shock, magnetosheath, magnetopause and magnetosphere, Space Sci. Rev., 22, 791-804, doi:10.1007/BF00212624, Dec. 1978.
  • Gonfalone, A., et al., Spacecraft potential control on ISEE-1, in Spacecraft Charging Technol., 1978, NASA Publ. 2071, 256-267, NASA-LRC, Cleveland, OH, 1979.
  • Levin, S., et al., A statistical study of large electric field events in the earth's magnetotail, J. Geophys. Res., 88, No. A10, 7765-7768, doi:10.1029/JA088iA10p07765, Oct. 1983.
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