Ionospheric Analysis with Langmuir Probes: Sheath and Edge Effects

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Robert M Albarran, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL, United States, Jeffrey Klenzing, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, David L Cooke, Air Force Research Lab, Kirtland Afb, NM, United States and Patrick A Roddy, Air Force Research Laboratory Kirtland AFB, Kirtland AFB, NM, United States
The Langmuir probe has been an essential instrument in the space sciences since the 1920s, providing data throughout the heliosphere. In this investigation of Langmuir probes, simulations were performed via the Spacecraft Plasma Interaction System (SPIS) to determine the influence of plasma sheath effects on the Planar Langmuir Probe (PLP) of the Communication/Navigation Outage Forecast Satellite (C/NOFS) subject an International Reference Ionosphere (IRI) model plasma environment. Electron temperatures extracted by a fitting routine employed onto SPIS results and PLP data assist in qualifying the accuracy of PLP measurements. Ultimately, the question is asked- what is the extent that sheath and edge effects have on data returned by Langmuir probes?