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Plasma Spectrometer (PLS)

NSSDC ID: 1977-076A-06
Mission Name: Voyager 2
Principal Investigator: Dr. John D. Richardson


The plasma investigation made use of two Faraday-cup detectors, one pointed along the earth-spacecraft line and one at right angles to this line. The earth-pointing detector determined the macroscopic properties of the plasma ions, obtaining accurate values of their velocity, density, and pressure. Three sequential energy scans were employed with (delta E)/E equal to 29, 7.2, and 1.8%, allowing a coverage from subsonic to highly supersonic flow. The side-looking Faraday cup measured electrons in the energy range from 5 eV to 1 keV.

Alternate Names

  • PLS
  • Plasma Science Experiment

Facts in Brief

Mass: 9.9 kg
Power (avg): 8.1 W
Bit rate (avg): 0.032 bps

Funding Agency

  • NASA-Office of Space Science (United States)


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

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this experiment can be directed to: Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II.



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Alan J. LazarusCo-InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of Technology 
Dr. Arthur J. HundhausenCo-InvestigatorNational Center for Atmospheric Research 
Dr. Leonard F. BurlagaCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. S. OlbertCo-InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of Technology 
Prof. George L. SiscoeCo-InvestigatorUniversity of California, Los
Dr. James D. SullivanCo-InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of
Dr. John D. RichardsonPrincipal InvestigatorMassachusetts Institute of
Dr. Christoph K. GoertzCo-InvestigatorUniversity of Iowa 
Dr. Keith W. OgilvieCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Dr. Richard E. HartleCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
Prof. Vytenis M. VasyliunasCo-InvestigatorMax-Planck-Institut fur
Dr. Jack D. ScudderCo-InvestigatorNASA Goddard Space Flight
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