The Aspera Experiment on the Soviet Phobos Spacecraft

  1. J. H. Waite Jr.,
  2. J. L. Burch and
  3. R. L. Moore
  1. R. Lundin1,
  2. B. Hultqvist1,
  3. S. Olsen1,
  4. R. Pellinen2,
  5. I. Liede2,
  6. A. Zakharov3,
  7. E. Dubinin3 and
  8. N. Pissarenko3

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM054p0417

Solar System Plasma Physics

Solar System Plasma Physics

How to Cite

Lundin, R., Hultqvist, B., Olsen, S., Pellinen, R., Liede, I., Zakharov, A., Dubinin, E. and Pissarenko, N. (1989) The Aspera Experiment on the Soviet Phobos Spacecraft, in Solar System Plasma Physics (eds J. H. Waite, J. L. Burch and R. L. Moore), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM054p0417

Author Information

  1. 1

    Swedish Institute of Space Physics, P.O. Box 812, S-981 28 Kiruna, Sweden

  2. 2

    Finnish Meteorological Institute, P.O. Box 503, SF-00101 Helsinki, Finland

  3. 3

    Space Research Institute of the Academia Nauk, Profsojusnaja 88, 117810, Moscow, USSR

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1989

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900742

Online ISBN: 9781118664315



  • Space plasmas;
  • Sun;
  • Magnetosphere;
  • Astrophysics


ASPERA (Automatic Space Plasma Experiment with a Rotating Analyzer) is a three-dimensional plasma composition experiment for the Soviet mission to Mars and its moon Phobos in 1988–1989. Two spacecraft are targeted for a close flyby over the Phobos surface. ASPERA measures the composition of ions with energies 0.5 eV/e-25 keV/e and electrons with energies 1 eV-50 keV. The experiment utilizes a scanner platform to provide nearly complete coverage of the unit sphere on the three-axis stabilized Phobos spacecraft. The plasma analyzer comprises two spectrometer systems with a 360° field-of-view lying in a plane perpendicular to the plane of rotation (±90°). The 360° field-of-view is divided into 10 sectors for ions and 6 sectors for electrons, all sectors containing individual sensor elements. The unit sphere is covered after a 180° turn of the scanner platform.