Investigate the Upflow Ions with a Constellation: An introduction to a Future Chinese Mission

Friday, 19 December 2014
Yong Liu, Center for Space Science and Applied Research,Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, Chi Wang, CSSAR, CAS, Beijing, China, Jiyao Xu, National Space Science Center, Beijing, China and Berndt Klecker, Max Planck Institut for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany
The ions upflowing from the ionosphere into the magnetosphere are vital for the coupling of Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere because they play a very important role in the initiation and development of the geospace storm caused by solar disturbance.The Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling Small-Satellite Constellation Mission (MIT) is a Chinese mission targeting at the coupling processes of the earth’s magnetosphere-ionosphere-thermosphere system. The mission’s science objectives focus on the acceleration mechanism and the origin of outflow ions and other related outstanding scientific questions. The mission plans a constellation composed of four satellites orbiting the earth at three different altitudes. The proposed payloads include particles detectors, field detectors, aurora and neutral imaging system. These payloads will measure the plasma compositions and the electromagnetic waves, therefore determine the key acceleration mechanisms for the oxygen ions. This mission is selected as a background model supported by the strategy pioneer program of Chinese Academy of Science. The proposed lunch date is between 2019 to 2020.