Date of Award:

5-2005

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Charles M. Swenson

Abstract

This thesis presents the calibration process and analysis results for the two Plasma Impedance Probe (PIP) units that were flown as part of the NASA Equis-I I campaign from the Kwa jalein Atoll. The work of calibration that was presented by Krishna Kurra for the PIP on the Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU) is improved and extended herein. The sweeping impedance probe (SIP), the instrument formerly known as plasma sweeping probe (PSP), is an integral part of the PIP. For the SIP, the calibration presented in this work, calibration error less than 5% error is achieved. The calibration is applied to the flight data to yield impedance measurements. Balmain’s normalized theoretical model is fit to normalized calibrated data to obtain electron density profiles within the range of about 2 × 103 to 5 × 106 [Ne /cm3 ]. Electron density profiles from the plasma frequency probe (PFP), also part of the PIP, are compared with the density profiles from the SIP and there is a close correlation, verifying the calibration and analysis of the SIP.

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