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Mutual Impedance Probe (MIP)

NSSDCA ID: 2004-006A-16

Mission Name: Rosetta
Principal Investigator:Dr. Jean-Pierre Lebreton


The Mutual Impedance Probe (MIP) is designed to measure plasma density, temperature and drift velocity, and also acts as a receiver for high-frequency waves (above 10 kHz). The MIP is part of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC) which consists of four additional instruments: the Langmuir Probe Instrument (LAP), the Ion and Electron Sensor (IES), the Fluxgate Magnetometer (MAG), and the Ion Composition Analyser (ICA). The scientific objectives of the RPC instruments are to study inner coma structure, dynamics, and aeronomy, characterize the development of cometary activity and the formation and evolution of plasma tail, and investigate solar-wind and asteroid interaction.

The MIP is mounted along one of the long booms. It operates by measuring the electrical coupling of a transmitting antenna with a receiving antenna and the resulting frequency response provides information on the plasma properties. This method allows measurements of extremely low-energy (~100 K) plasmas. The MIP also has a passive mode in which is can function as a plasma wave analyzer. Onboard control is provided by the Plasma Interface Unit (PIU), a common interface to the spacecraft for the RPC experiments. The MIP sensor has a mass of 0.370 kg; the MIP electronics, which are shared with the PIU, LAP, and MAG, have a mass of 3.291 kg.

Alternate Names

  • MIP
  • Rosetta/MIP

Facts in Brief

Mass: 0.37 kg
Power (avg): 2 W

Funding Agency

  • European Space Agency (International)


  • Planetary Science: Small Bodies
  • 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. Jean-Pierre LebretonPrincipal InvestigatorCentre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Selected References

  • Trotignon, J. G., et al., The Rosetta Plasma Consortium: Technical realization and scientific aims, Adv. Space Res., 24, No. 9, 1149-1158, June 1999.
  • Carr, C., et al., RPC: The Rosetta Plasma Consortium, Space Sci. Rev., 128, 629-647, doi:10.1007/s11214-006-9136-4, 2007.
  • Trotignon, J. G., et al., RPC-MIP: the Mutual Impedance Probe of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium, Space Sci. Rev., 128, 713-728, doi:10.1007/s11214-006-9005-1, 2007.

Other Related Data/Information

Image of EASEP

Rosetta RPC

RPC Home Page (Rosetta Plasma Consortium)

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