The Global Geospace Science (GGS) Wind satellite is a NASA science spacecraft launched on 1 November 1994, at 09:31:00 UTC, from launch pad LC-17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Merritt Island, Florida, aboard a McDonnell Douglas Delta II 7925-10 rocket. Wind was designed and manufactured by Martin Marietta Astro Space Division in East Windsor Township, New Jersey. The satellite is a spin-stabilized cylindrical satellite with a diameter of 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) and a height of 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in).
|Names||GGS/Wind, ISTP/Wind, Interplanetary Physics Laboratory|
|Mission duration||3 years (planned)|
27 years, 6 months, 24 days (in progress)
|Launch mass||1,250 kg (2,760 lb) |
|Dry mass||950 kg (2,090 lb)|
|Payload mass||195 kg (430 lb)|
|Dimensions||2.4 × 1.8 m (7 ft 10 in × 5 ft 11 in)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||1 November 1994, 09:31:00 UTC|
|Rocket||Delta II 7925-10 (Delta 227)|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral, SLC-17B|
|End of mission|
|Last contact||2070 (planned)|
|Reference system||Heliocentric orbit|
|Regime||L1 Lagrange point|
|Orbital insertion||May 2004|
Wind mission patch
It was deployed to study radio waves and plasma that occur in the solar wind and in the Earth's magnetosphere. The spacecraft's original mission was to orbit the Sun at the L1 Lagrangian point, but this was delayed to study the magnetosphere and near lunar environment when the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft were sent to the same location. Wind has been at L1 continuously since May 2004, and is still operating as of April 2022. As of March 2021, Wind currently has enough fuel to last over 50 more years at L1, until at least 2070. Wind continues to collect data, and by the end of 2021 had contributed data to over 6290 scientific publications.
Wind data can be accessed using the SPEDAS software.
Wind is the sister ship to GGS Polar.
The aim of the International Solar-Terrestrial Physics Science Initiative is to understand the behaviour of the solar-terrestrial plasma environment, in order to predict how the Earth's atmosphere will respond to changes in solar wind conditions. Wind's objective is to measure the properties of the solar wind before it reaches the Earth.
The Wind spacecraft has an array of instruments including: KONUS, the Magnetic Field Investigation (MFI), the Solar Wind and Suprathermal Ion Composition Experiment (SMS), The Energetic Particles: Acceleration, Composition, and Transport (EPACT) investigation, the Solar Wind Experiment (SWE), a Three-Dimensional Plasma and Energetic Particle Investigation (3DP), the Transient Gamma-Ray Spectrometer (TGRS), and the Radio and Plasma Wave Investigation (WAVES). The KONUS and TGRS instruments are primarily for gamma-ray and high energy photon observations of solar flares or gamma-ray bursts and part of the Gamma-ray Coordinates Network. The SMS experiment measures the mass and mass-to-charge ratios of heavy ions. The SWE and 3DP experiments are meant to measure/analyze the lower energy (below 10 MeV) solar wind protons and electrons. The WAVES and MFI experiments were designed to measure the electric and magnetic fields observed in the solar wind. All together, the Wind spacecraft's suite of instruments allows for a complete description of plasma phenomena in the solar wind plane of the ecliptic.
The electric field detectors of the Wind WAVES instrument are composed of three orthogonal electric field dipole antennas, two in the spin plane (roughly the plane of the ecliptic) of the spacecraft and one along the spin axis. The complete WAVES suite of instruments includes five total receivers including: Low Frequency FFT receiver called FFT (0.3 Hz to 11 kHz), Thermal Noise Receiver called TNR (4–256 kHz), Radio receiver band 1 called RAD1 (20–1040 kHz), Radio receiver band 2 called RAD2 (1.075–13.825 MHz), and the Time Domain Sampler called TDS (designed and built by the University of Minnesota). The longer of the two spin plane antenna, defined as Ex, is 100 m (330 ft) tip-to-tip while the shorter, defined as Ey, is 15 m (49 ft) tip-to-tip. The spin axis dipole, defined as Ez, is roughly 12 m (39 ft) tip-to-tip. When accounting for spacecraft potential, these antenna lengths are adjusted to ~41.1 m (135 ft), ~3.79 m (12.4 ft), and ~2.17 m (7 ft 1 in) [Note: these are subject to change and only estimates and not necessarily accurate to two decimal places]. The Wind WAVES instrument also detects magnetic fields using three orthogonal search coil magnetometers (designed and built by the University of Iowa). The XY search coils are oriented to be parallel to the XY dipole antenna. The search coils allow for high-frequency magnetic field measurements (defined as Bx, By, and Bz). The WAVES Z-axis is anti-parallel to the Z-GSE (Geocentric Solar Ecliptic) direction. Thus, any rotations can be done about the Z-axis in the normal Eulerian sense followed by a change of sign in the Z-component of any GSE vector rotated into WAVES coordinates.
Electric (and magnetic) field waveform captures can be obtained from the Time Domain Sampler (TDS) receiver. TDS samples are a waveform capture of 2048 points (16384 points on the STEREO spacecraft) per field component. The waveforms are measures of electric field versus time. In the highest sampling rates, the Fast (TDSF) sampler runs at ~120,000 samples per second (sps) and the Slow (TDSS) sampler runs at ~7,500 sps. TDSF samples are composed of two electric field components (typically Ex and Ey) while TDSS samples are composed of four vectors, either three electric and one magnetic field or three magnetic and one electric field. The TDSF receiver has little to no gain below about ~120 Hz and the search coil magnetometers roll off around ~3.3 Hz.
The TNR measures ~4–256 kHz electric fields in up to 5 logarithmically spaced frequency bands, though typically only set at 3 bands, from 32 or 16 channels per band, with a 7 nV/(Hz)1/2 sensitivity, 400 Hz to 6.4 kHz bandwidth, and total dynamic range in excess of 100 dB. The data are taken by two multi-channel receivers which nominally sample for 20 ms at a 1 MHz sampling rate (see Bougeret 1995 for more information). The TNR is often used to determine the local plasma density by observing the plasma line, an emission at the local upper hybrid frequency due to a thermal noise response of the wire dipole antenna. One should note that observation of the plasma line requires the dipole antenna to be longer than the local Debye length, λDe. For typical conditions in the solar wind λDe ~7–20 m (23–66 ft), much shorter than the wire dipole antenna on Wind. The majority of this section was taken from.
The Wind / 3DP instrument (designed and built at the Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory) was designed to make full three-dimensional measurements of the distributions of suprathermal electrons and ions in the solar wind. The instrument includes three arrays, each consisting of a pair of double-ended semiconductor telescopes each with two or three closely sandwiched passivated ion implanted silicon detectors, which measure electrons and ions above ~20 keV. The instrument also has top-hat symmetrical spherical section electrostatic analyzers (ES) with microchannel plate detectors (MCPs) are used to measure ions and electrons from ~3 eV to 30 eV. The two types of detectors have energy resolutions ranging from ΔE/E ≈0.3 for the solid state telescopes (SST) and ΔE/E ≈ 0.2 for the top-hat ES analyzers. The angular resolutions are 22.5° × 36° for the SST and 5.6° (near the ecliptic) to 22.5° for the top-hat ES analyzers. The particle detectors can obtain a full 4π steradian coverage in one full(half) spin (~3 seconds) for the SST (top-hat ES analyzers). The majority of this section was taken from.
The arrays of detectors are mounted on two opposing booms, each 0.5 m (1 ft 8 in) in length. The top-hat ES analyzers are composed of four separate detectors, each with different geometry factors to cover different ranges of energies. The electron detectors, EESA, and ion detectors, PESA, are each separated into low (L) and high (H) energy detectors. The H and L analyzers contain 24 and 16 discrete anodes, respectively. The anode layout provides a 5.6° angular resolution within ± 22.5° of the ecliptic plane (increases to 22.5° at normal incidence to ecliptic plane). The analyzers are swept logarithmically in energy and counters sample at 1024 samples/spin (~3 ms sample period). Thus the analyzers can be set to sample 64 energy samples per sweep at 16 sweeps per spin or 32 energy samples per sweep at 32 sweeps per spin, etc. The detectors are defined as follows:
The majority of this section was taken from Wilson III (2010).
The SST detectors consist of three arrays of double-ended telescopes, each of which is composed of either a pair or triplet of closely sandwiched semiconductor detectors. The center detector (Thick or T) of the triplet is 1.5 cm2 (0.23 sq in) in area, 500 μm thick, while the other detectors, foil (F) and open (O), are the same area but only 300 μm thick. One direction of the telescopes is covered in a thin lexan foil, ~1500 Angstrom (Å) of aluminum evaporated on each side to completely eliminate sunlight, (SST-Foil) where the thickness was chosen to stop protons up to the energy of electrons (~400 keV). Electrons are essentially unaffected by the foil. On the opposite side (SST-Open), a common broom magnet is used to refuse electrons below ~400 keV from entering but leaves the ions essentially unaffected. Thus, if no higher energy particles penetrate the detector walls, the SST-Foil should only measure electrons and the SST-Open only ions. Each double-ended telescope has two 36° × 20° FWHM FOV, thus each end of the five telescopes can cover a 180° × 20° piece of space. Telescope 6 views the same angle to spin axis as telescope 2, but both ends of telescope 2 have a drilled tantalum cover to reduce the geometric factor by a factor of 10 to measure the most intense fluxes. The SST-Foil data structures typically have 7 energy bins each with 48 data points while the SST-Open has 9 energy bins each with 48 data points. Both detectors have energy resolutions of ΔE/E ≈ 30%. The majority of this section was taken from.
The Magnetic Field Instrument (MFI) on board Wind is composed of dual triaxial fluxgate magnetometers. The MFI has a dynamic range of ±4 nT to ±65,536 nT, digital resolution ranging from ±0.001 nT to ±16 nT, sensor noise level of < 0.006 nT (R.M.S.) for 0–10 Hz signals, and sample rates varying from 44 samples per second (sps) in snapshot memory to 10.87 sps in standard mode. The data are also available in averages at 3 seconds, 1 minute, and 1 hour. The data sampled at higher rates (i.e. >10 sps) is referred to as High Time Resolution (HTR) data in some studies.
The Wind spacecraft has two Faraday Cup (FC) ion instruments. The SWE FCs can produce reduced ion distribution functions with up to 20 angular and 30 energy per charge bins every 92 seconds. Each sensor has a ~15° tilt above or below the spin plane and an energy range from ~150 eV to ~8 keV. A circular aperture limits the effects of aberration near the modulator grid and defines the collecting area of the collector plates in each FC. The FCs sample at a set energy for each spacecraft rotation, then step up the energy for the next rotation. Since there are up to 30 energy bins for these detectors, a full reduced distribution function requires 30 rotations or slightly more than 90 seconds.
KONUS remains a very active partner in the Gamma-ray Coordinates Network (GCN) and the Interplanetary Network. Notifications of astrophysical transients are sent worldwide instantly from KONUS, and are of importance in the subsequent positioning of telescopes everywhere. Thus, the instrument remains an active contributor to the astrophysical community, for instance, with the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (Swift mission).
The TGRS instrument was shut off early in the mission due to the planned expiration of coolant.
The Energetic Particles: Acceleration, Composition and Transport (EPACT) investigation consists of multiple telescopes including: the Low Energy Matrix Telescope (LEMT); SupraThermal Energetic Particle telescope (STEP); and ELectron-Isotope TElescope system (ELITE). ELITE is composed of two Alpha-Proton-Electron (APE) telescopes and an Isotope Telescope (IT).
|Charge Range||2 to 90||−1 to 26||−1 to 26||2 to 26||2 to 26|
|Geometry Factor (cm2/sr)||3 × 17||1.2||1.3||~9.0||2 × 0.4|
The highest energy telescopes (APE and IT) failed early in the mission, though APE does two channels of ~5 and ~20 MeV protons but IT was turned off. However, LEMT (covering energies in the 1–10 MeV/nucl range) and STEP (measuring ions heavier than protons in the 20 keV–1 MeV/nucl range) still continue to provide valuable data.
The Solar Wind and Suprathermal Ion Composition Experiment (SMS) on Wind is composed of three separate instruments: SupraThermal Ion Composition Spectrometer (STICS); high-resolution mass spectrometer (MASS); and Solar Wind Ion Composition Spectrometer (SWICS). STICS determines the mass, mass per charge, and energy for ions in the energy range of 6–230 keV/e. MASS determines elemental and isotopic abundances from 0.5 to 12 keV/e. SWICS determines mass, charge, and energy for ions in the energy range of 0.5 to 30 keV/e. The SWICS "stop" microchannel plate detector (MCP) experienced a failure resulting in reduced capabilities for this instrument and was eventually turned off in May 2000. The SMS data processing unit (DPU) experienced a latch-up reset on 26 June 2009, that placed the MASS acceleration/deceleration power supply into a fixed voltage mode, rather than stepping through a set of voltages. In 2010, MASS experienced a small degradation in the acceleration/deceleration power supply which reduced the efficiency of the instrument, though this does not seriously affect science data analysis.
|Mass/Charge Range (amu/e)||1–30||N/A||1–60|
|Energy Range (keV/e)||0.5–30||0.5–11.6||8–226|
|Mean Speed Range (km/s)|
|Total Geometry Factor (cm2/sr)|
|cm2/sr||2.3 × 10−3||N/A||0.05|
|cm2||1.8 × 10−2||0.35||N/A|
|Dynamic Range||1010||1010||5 × 1010|
For a complete list of refereed publications directly or indirectly using data from the Wind spacecraft, see https://wind.nasa.gov/bibliographies.php.
Wind continues to produce relevant research, with its data having contributed to over 3805 publications since 1 January 2010 and over 2480 publications prior. As of 5 April 2022 (not including 2022 publications), the total number of publications either directly or indirectly using Wind data is ~6292, or an average of ~233 publications/year (the average since 2018 is ~411 publications/year or ~1647 publications since 2018).Wind data has been used in over 110 high impact refereed publications with ~12 in Science, ~62 in Nature Publishing Group (includes Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Scientific Reports, and Scientific American), and ~37 in Physical Review Letters. Many of these publications utilized Wind data directly and indirectly by citing the OMNI dataset at CDAWeb, which relies heavily upon Wind measurements.
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