Simulation and Optimization of ESA Designs for Space Plasma Missions

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A novel electrostatic analyzer (ESA) simulation method that differs significantly from traditional methods is presented in this study, the "reverse-fly" simulation method. The simulation process and its applications are discussed in detail. This method is tested by comparing its results to the published test data of three experimental instruments; The Proton Electrostatic Analyzer-High Geometric Factor (PESA-H) instrument on the Wind mission [Lin, et al. 1995], the 2π-Toroidal Analyzer (2πTA) of Young, et al., [1988], and the Hot Plasma Composition Analyzer (HPCA) to be used in the upcoming Magnetospheric Multi-scale (MMS) mission. The strong agreement between simulation and experimental results verifies the accuracy of this technique. Our results reveal detailed properties of ESA response that are not practical to assess using laboratory data. This simulation method then is used to compare the transmission characteristics of five published ESA geometries to efficiently determine the optimal ESA geometry for use in future space missions. We show that the simulation methods described here are an important contribution to instrument design and development techniques and are critical to efficient and accurate verification of instrument performance.

Doctor of Philosophy
Pure sciences, Electrostatic analyzers, Space plasma, Velocity distribution, Astrophysics

Gomez, Roman G.. "Simulation and Optimization of ESA Designs for Space Plasma Missions." (2011) Diss., Rice University.

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