Computer Simulation in Designing Electrostatic Optics for Space Plasma Experiments

  1. Robert F. Pfaff,
  2. Joseph.E Borovsky and
  3. David T. Young
  1. J. P. McFadden and
  2. C. W. Carlson

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM102p0249

Measurement Techniques in Space Plasmas:Particles

Measurement Techniques in Space Plasmas:Particles

How to Cite

McFadden, J. P. and Carlson, C. W. (1998) Computer Simulation in Designing Electrostatic Optics for Space Plasma Experiments, in Measurement Techniques in Space Plasmas:Particles (eds R. F. Pfaff, Joseph.E. Borovsky and D. T. Young), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM102p0249

Author Information

  1. Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1998

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900858

Online ISBN: 9781118664384

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Keywords:

  • Space plasmas—Measurement;
  • Plasma diagnostics

Summary

The design of new experiments is an art that combines innovative concepts, simulations, mechanical design, assembly, test and calibration. Although an instrument's development may proceed linearly through these steps, more often the design evolves through a complicated processes of trade offs. Optimizing practical features (ease of assembly, compactness, low mass, low cost) is often at odds with the design concept (complicated optics, high sensitivity). Balancing these design considerations often drives the experiment away from the original concept, but produces a much more robust, constructible instrument. An essential tool for analyzer design is a set of computer simulation programs that allow optics concepts to be tested prior to construction. These programs allow the scientist or engineer to quickly test new ideas without the cost of developing a prototype. This paper outlines computer codes used to design electrostatic optics for low energy plasma detectors. A number of features that enhance the usefulness of these programs are also described. As an example of analyzer design, the development of the electrostatic optics for the Cluster CIS-1 mass spectrometer is described.