FASTSAT Mission Update
GODDARD, Md: Update on the three Goddard experiments supporting Heliophysics and space weather instrument technology development and research; PISA, MINI-ME, and TTI. All three successfully completed their aliveness tests in late November.
The Plasma Impedance Spectrum Analyzer, or PISA, represents a new technique for understanding the environment of charged gas, or "plasma" around a spacecraft.
The instrument is showing promising instrument performance, and the team is looking forward to optimizing instrument settings and making observations over a wide range of plasma conditions in order to validate measurements. PISA is currently in its first prime science operation period, which began Dec. 10 and runs through Dec. 23, and is undergoing extensive on orbit measurement validation and analysis.
The Miniature Imager for Neutral Ionospheric Atoms and Magnetospheric Electrons or MINI-ME, represents a new technique that, like PISA, senses charged gas, or plasma, environments, but does so remotely by imaging the plasmas, like a camera.
The team has slowly raised the high voltage on MINI-ME and is collecting their first science data during the period Dec. 13 - 23.
The Thermospheric Temperature Imager (TTI) will remotely measure the temperature of the upper most region of Earth's atmosphere or "thermosphere".
Full functionality of the instrument will be demonstrated after the aperture door is opened and the team acquires science data. TTI's first science operations are scheduled to begin February 1, 2011.
To learn more about these three experiments, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/fastsat-alaska.html
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center