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Ion Composition


I was in charge of designing some of the observing modes for DE-1. This led to the discovery of nitrogen ions - one of the original GRL articles by Chappell et al.  The author order (me second) was supposed to be significant, but really, if you are not the first author, it doesn't matter. 

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Here is a mass-time spectrogram for the perigee pass for the observations (81/364) in that first paper. There was already an indication of molecular ions in the high-mass channel. Just a hint of neon in there.

Here is a mass-time spectrogram for the perigee pass for the observations (81/364) in that first paper.  There was already an indication of molecular ions in the high-mass channel. Just a hint of neon in there. View larger image

 

 

 

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molecular ions

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spectrogram from day 41 in 1982

Of course, the observations we published weren't the first ones we found - we actually had a snippet of data early on before we got the day 364 data.  Here is the spectrogram from day 41 in 1982. (as with many of the old Matrix camera prints run from the Tektronix printer, I've redone some of the text labels - big changes in technology over the years! Link to pdf file version; link to larger jpeg

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spin phase-time spectrogram for NO+

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Not knowing any better, I thought I'd put in a mode for molecular ions.  Imagine my surprise when it worked.  Observations of Molecular Ions in the Earth's Magnetosphere. (one of two papers with Paul Craven).  I did not have the original figures to rescan, but I did have some of the old Matrix prints, so those are included here. 

Mass-time spectrogram (left) showing N2+, NO+, and O2+; spin phase-vs time for NO+ (right).  It was quite a surprise to those of us from the magnetosphere side that NO+ was so prominent (not a surprise to the ionospheric community).  It messed with our understanding of the sensor calibration for quite a while.

No real obvious place to put this: DE 1 RIMS Operational Characteristics tells you anything you want to know about the grungy details of detector performance and analysis for a Retarding Potential Analyzer with a coupled mass spectrometer.  

Finally, one of the big things everybody wanted to see with DE-1 was the Polar Wind. That and related matters are in the Charging section for DE-1.