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Plasma Wave System (PWS)

NSSDC ID: 1977-084A-13
Mission Name: Voyager 1
Principal Investigator: Prof. Donald A. Gurnett


This investigation provided continuous, sheath-independent measurements of the electron-density profiles at Jupiter and Saturn. It also gave basic information on local wave-particle interaction required to carry out comparative studies of the physics of the Jupiter and Saturn magnetospheres. The instrumentation consisted of a 16-channel, step-frequency receiver and a low-frequency waveform receiver, with associated electronics. The frequency range for this instrument was from 10 Hz to 56 kHz. This instrument shared the 10-m antennas developed for the investigation of planetary radio astronomy.

Alternate Names

  • PWS
  • Plasma Wave Reciever

Facts in Brief

Mass: 1.4 kg
Power (avg): 1.3 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
Prof. Donald A. GurnettPrincipal InvestigatorUniversity of

Selected References

Kurth, W. S., et al., Voyager observations of Jupiter's distant magnetotail, J. Geophys. Res., 86, No. A10, 8402-8412, Sept. 1981.

Scarf, F. L., et al., Voyager plasma wave measurements at Saturn, J. Geophys. Res., 88, No. A11, 8971-8984, Nov. 1983.

Gurnett, D. A., and F. L. Scarf, Plasma waves in the Jovian magnetosphere, In--Physics of the Jovian Magnetosphere, ed. A. J. Dessler, pp. 285--316, Cambridge U. Press., Cambridge, UK, 1983.

Scarf, F. L., et al., Jupiter plasma wave observations: An initial Voyager 1 overview, Science, 204, No. 4396, 991-995, June 1979.

Scarf, F. L., and D. A. Gurnett, A plasma wave investigation for the Voyager mission, Space Sci. Rev., 21, No. 3, 289-308, Dec. 1977.

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