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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 21, issue 5
Ann. Geophys., 21, 1159–1166, 2003
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-21-1159-2003
© Author(s) 2003. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 21, 1159–1166, 2003
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-21-1159-2003
© Author(s) 2003. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 May 2003

31 May 2003

Reconstruction of the ion plasma parameters from the current measurements: mathematical tool

E. Séran E. Séran
  • CETP, Observatoire de Saint-Maur, 4, Avenue de Neptune, 94107 Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, Cedex, France

Abstract. Instrument d’Analyse du Plasma (IAP) is one of the instruments of the newly prepared ionospheric mission Demeter. This analyser was developed to measure flows of thermal ions at the altitude of ~ 750 km and consists of two parts: (i) retarding potential analyser (APR), which is utilised to measure the energy distribution of the ion plasma along the sensor look direction, and (ii) velocity direction analyser (ADV), which is used to measure the arrival angle of the ion flow with respect to the analyser axis. The necessity to obtain quick and precise estimates of the ion plasma parameters has prompted us to revise the existing mathematical tool and to investigate different instrumental limitations, such as (i) finite angular aperture, (ii) grid transparency, (iii) potential depression in the space between the grid wires, (iv) losses of ions during their passage between the entrance diaphragm and the collector. Simple analytical expressions are found to fit the currents, which are measured by the APR and ADV collectors, and show a very good agreement with the numerical solutions. It was proven that the fitting of the current with the model functions gives a possibility to properly resolve even minor ion concentrations and to find the arrival angles of the ion flow in the multi-species plasma. The discussion is illustrated by an analysis of the instrument response in the ionospheric conditions which are predicted by the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model.

Key words. Ionosphere (plasma convection; instruments and techniques) – Space plasma physics (experimental and mathematical techniques)

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