Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment

(Spacecraft Instrument)


Spacecraft Instrument
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What is Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment?

Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment (JADE) is an instrument that detects and measures ions and electrons around the a spacecraft. It is a suite of detectors on the Juno Jupiter orbiter (launched 2011, orbiting Jupiter since 2016). JADE includes JADE-E, JADE-I, and the EBox. JADE-E and JADE-I are sensors that are spread out on the spacecraft, and the EBox is located inside the Juno Radiation Vault. EBox stands for Electronics Box. JADE-E is for detecting electrons from 0.1 to 100 keV, and there are three JADE-E sensors on Juno. JADE-I is for detecting ions from 5 eV to 50 keV. It is designed to return data in situ on Jupiter's auroral region and magnetospheric plasmas, by observing electrons and ions in this region. It is primarily focused on Jupiter, but it was turned on in January 2016 while still en route to study inter-planetary space (It was several million miles from Jupiter at that time). JADE was built by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), located in the United States in Texas. Two other instruments help understand the magnetosphere of Jupiter, WAVES and MAG. The JEDI instrument measures higher energy ions and electrons and JADE lower energy ones, they are complementary. The JADE sensors, in addition to other materials, also use a special plastic designed to endure the spaceflight conditions. The instrument uses special molded rings of polyether ether ketone (PEEK). By May 2017, some of the first science analysis reported that JADE observed plasma coming up from the upper atmosphere of Jupiter into the Magnetosphere. Some auroral process were compared to ones at Earth, but there seemed to be other processes at work creating the auroras at Jupiter said the JADE project leader, in early 2017. Like Earth's aurora, scientists noted Jupiter's could be effected by the Solar wind, however, many of the ions in the Jupiter aurora were different from those in Earth's.

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Tech Info

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