FIELDS Instruments

NASA’s Solar Probe Plus (PSP) mission will make the first in situ measurements of the solar corona and the birthplace of the solar wind.

The FIELDS instrument suite on PSP will make direct measurements of electric and magnetic fields, the properties of in situ plasma waves, electron density and temperature profiles, and interplanetary radio emissions.

The FIELDS suite consists of four electric field antennas (V1-V4) mounted near the edge of the SPP heat shield, a voltage sensor (V5), mounted on the SPP magnetometer boom with two fluxgate magnetometers (MAGs) and a search coil magnetometer (SCM).

Instrumentation on the SPP spacecraft. FIELDS sensors include the V1-V4 antennas, two fluxgate magnetometers and a search coil magnetometer, and a voltage sensor (V5) on the magnetometer boom. SPP image courtesy JHU/APL
Instrumentation on the PSP spacecraft. FIELDS sensors are indicated with white labels. PSP image courtesy JHU/APL

The FIELDS sensors provide inputs to several receivers contained in the FIELD Main Electronics Package (MEP).  The MEP contains the:

  • Antenna Electronics Board (AEB)
  • Data Controller Board / Radio Frequency Spectrometer (DCB/RFS)
  • Digital Fields Board (DFB)
  • Low Noise Power Supply (LNPS)
  • Time Domain Sampler (TDS)
  • Magnetometer control boards (MAG)