PSP/FIELDS Science

In order to fulfill its historic mission of understanding the origin and evolution of the solar wind, the Parker Solar Probe mission requires a high performance and well integrated set of electric and magnetic field measurements.  The PSP/FIELDS Experiment provides these measurement capabilities in a low risk, state-of-the-art, integrated package which represents the efforts of a highly experienced team with a history of many successful space missions.

  • PSP/FIELDS will make the in situ magnetic field measurements critical to making the connection between the surface source regions of the solar wind and the heliospheric magnetic field.
  • PSP/FIELDS will resolve the outstanding problems of coronal heating and solar wind acceleration by measuring the properties of low frequency Alfvén waves and other kinetics, turbulence, and reconnection in the inner heliosphere.
  • PSP/FIELDS will measure radio wave and in situ turbulent signatures of energetic particles to understand the roles of phenomena such as shocks and reconnection in particle acceleration, and to determine the source populations of the accelerated particles.
  • PSP/FIELDS will measure the voltage signatures of dust impacts, using the spacecraft-antenna system as a detector of micron and nano scale dust in the inner heliosphere.

In addition to the above objectives, the capability of thePSP/FIELDS instruments to measure phenomena on all relevant scales of the solar wind plasma means thatPSP/FIELDS is well positioned to discover the new and unexpected phenomena that are found every time spacecraft are sent to an unexplored region of the heliosphere.

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