Vol. 43 No. 2 (2004)

A plasma diagnostics package for low-latitude observations on board the French-Brazilian microsatellite

Published 2004-04-01


  • Ionosphere,
  • plasma bubble,
  • plasma instability,
  • electron density,
  • electron temperature.
  • Ionosfera,
  • burbujas de plasma,
  • inestabilidad de plasma,
  • densidad electrónica,
  • temperatura electrónica.

How to Cite

Muralikrishna, P., Abdu, M. A., Domingos, S., Vieira, L. P., & Oyama, K. I. (2004). A plasma diagnostics package for low-latitude observations on board the French-Brazilian microsatellite. Geofísica Internacional, 43(2), 153-164. https://doi.org/10.22201/igeof.00167169p.2004.43.2.166


A French-Brazilian micro satellite (FBM) is scheduled to be launched in 2004. It will be placed in a low inclination (about 6 degrees) equatorial circular orbit at a height of 700 km. Among other French and Brazilian experiments, it will carry a Plasma Diagnostics Package (PDP) consisting of three experiments. A High Frequency Capacitance probe (HFC) to measure the absolute electron density along the satellite trajectory; a Langmuir Probe (LP) to measure the relative variation and the spectral distribution of electron density, and an Electron Temperature Probe (ETP) to measure the variations in the electron temperature and the space potential. The main objective of the PDP experiments is to make global observations of the characteristic features of low-latitude plasma bubbles, and to study the dynamic and electrodynamic processes that control the generation, development and decay of plasma bubbles. These satellite observations will be complemented by observations from a network of Ionosondes, Digisondes, Polarimeters, and VHF radars operated simultaneously from selected ground stations in Brazil and in other collaborating countries. The Brazilian experiments on board FBM will be controlled by the Brazilian Payload Computer (BPC), linked with the main computer that controls the functioning and operations of the satellite. Data from the LP experiment can be processed on board to save data memory.