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The ISL Langmuir probe experiment processing onboard DEMETER: Scientific objectives, description and first results

Abstract : The DEMETER Langmuir probe experiment, called “Instrument Sonde de Langmuir” (ISL), has been designed for in situ measurements of the bulk parameters of the ionospheric thermal plasma. The ISL instrument is comprised of two sensors: (i) a classical cylindrical sensor and (ii) a spherical sensor with its surface divided in seven segments: six spherical caps electrically isolated and the rest of the sphere which is used as a guard electrode. The two main parameters measured by ISL are the electron density and temperature; they are obtained with a 1 s time-resolution. In addition, the ion density and its variation can be derived from the current-voltage characteristics of the probe, but it requires an a-priori knowledge of the ion composition and a more sophisticated processing than the one currently implemented. The novel design for the spherical sensor has been called the segmented Langmuir probe (SLP). The SLP current can be measured individually on each of the seven segments, thus providing angular sensitivity to the ram direction of the incoming ion flow. The SLP was flown for the first time onboard the DEMETER satellite for in-flight validation of this novel concept, but the main sensor used routinely during the mission is the cylindrical probe. The design of the instrument and the analysis technique for the cylindrical probe are described. A brief description of the SLP and of its capabilities is provided. An overview of the currently available ISL data products on the DEMETER Mission Science Data Centre is given. Selected examples of some “classical” ionospheric features as being observed by ISL are discussed.
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J.P. Lebreton, S. Stverak, P. Travnicek, M. Maksimovic, D. Klinge, et al.. The ISL Langmuir probe experiment processing onboard DEMETER: Scientific objectives, description and first results. Planetary and Space Science, Elsevier, 2006, 54 (5), pp.472-486. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2005.10.017⟩. ⟨insu-02879839⟩



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