Pick-up Ion Spectrometer


Mission: To learn more about our universe through the newly ionized atoms that are picked up by the magnetic field in the expanding solar wind. 

Challenge: Measure low-density, low-charge pick-up ions from extra-solar sources.

Solution:  Increase the collecting power by a factor of 100 through increases in the voltage range and time at each voltage step.  Develop and demonstrate a complete instrument in the laboratory that separates different ions spatially instead of temporally.

Value:  By understanding particles that come from extra-solar sources, we improve our understanding of how the Solar System has evolved over long periods of time.

SPRL Contributions

  • Instrument Principal Investigator, Dr. Jason Gilbert, Assistant Research Scientist, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering
  • Roger Backhus, detector electronics, SPRL;  Ken Arnett, high-voltage power supply, SPRL, Steve Battel, high-voltage power supply, Battel Engineering