The development of the plasma electron analyzer for the Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby Mission
Weiss, Loretta Ann
Reiff, Patricia H.
Master of Science
The Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby Mission (CRAF) will include, as one of its complement of thirteen scientific instruments, a plasma electron analyzer capable of providing 3-dimensional measurements of the energy and angular distribution of electrons in the solar wind, asteroidal and cometary environments. After initial instrument selection, mission planners at JPL suggested that an instrument capable of performing angular scanning electronically rather than mechanically be investigated. This thesis describes the development of the redesigned CRAF plasma electron detector, consisting of an electronic scanning component, called the "elevation analyzer", and an energy analyzing component based on the Soft Particle Spectrometer (SPS). The numerical simulation of each component's operation--consisting of ray-tracing particles through the electrostatic field of each analyzer and collecting statistics on those particles successfully transmitted--is used to determine the energy and angular response functions of each component and the design dimensions that optimize these responses.