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Instrument: TIDE : Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment
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The Thermal Ion Dynamics Experiment (TIDE) and Plasma Source Instrument (PSI)
have been developed in response to the requirements of the ISTP Program for
three-dimensional plasma composition measurements capable of tracking the
outflow of ionospheric plasma throughout the magnetosphere. This plasma is in
part lost to the downstream solar wind and in part recirculated within the
magnetosphere, participating in the formation of the diamagnetic hot plasma
sheet and ring current plasma populations. Significant obstacles which have
previously made this task impossible include the low density and energy of the
outflowing ionospheric plasma plume and the positive spacecraft floating
potentials which exclude the low-energy plasma from detection on ordinary
spacecraft. Based on a unique combination of focusing electrostatic ion optics
and time of 3 flight detection and mass analysis, TIDE provides the
unprecedented sensitivity (seven channels at 0.1 cm2 sr each) and resolution
required for this purpose. PSI will produce a low energy plasma locally at the
POLAR spacecraft which will provide the ion current required to balance the
photoelectron current, along with a low temperature electron population, thus
regulating the spacecraft potential at a few tenths of a volt positive relative
to the space plasma.
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Instrument Logistics
Instrument Start Date: 1996-02-24
Instrument Owner: SW Research Labs
Los Alamos National Lab
Centre d'etude des Environnements Terrestre et Planetaires, France
Hughes Research Labs