Invited Article: Data analysis of the Floating Potential Measurement Unit aboard the International Space Station

Barjatya, Aroh; Swenson, Charles M.; Thompson, Donald C.; Wright, Kenneth H.
April 2009
Review of Scientific Instruments;Apr2009, Vol. 80 Issue 4, p041301
Academic Journal
We present data from the Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU) that is deployed on the starboard truss of the International Space Station. The FPMU is a suite of instruments capable of redundant measurements of various plasma parameters. The instrument suite consists of a floating potential probe, a wide-sweeping spherical Langmuir probe, a narrow-sweeping cylindrical Langmuir probe, and a plasma impedance probe. This paper gives a brief overview of the instrumentation and the received data quality, and then presents the algorithm used to reduce I-V curves to plasma parameters. Several hours of data are presented from August 5, 2006 and March 3, 2007. The FPMU derived plasma density and temperatures are compared with the International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) and Utah State University-Global Assimilation of Ionospheric Measurement (USU-GAIM) models. Our results show that the derived in situ density matches the USU-GAIM model better than the IRI, and the derived in situ temperatures are comparable to the average temperatures given by the IRI.


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