Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Charles M. Swenson


Charles M. Swenson


Jonathan D. Phillips


Jacob Gunther


In our modern world satellite systems are an evermore common part of day to day life. Reliable communication from the ground to these satellites is becoming more and more necessary. Plasma scintillations in the ionosphere can make these communications difficult or even impossible. By gaining a better understanding of these scintillations, times of bad satellite connection can be predicted in the same way terrestrial weather gets predicted and reported today. The objective of the SPORT mission is to gain a better understanding of these plasma scintillations. In order to measure plasma density, and gain a better understanding of plasma scintillations, a Sweeping Impedance Probe (SIP) can be used.

It is proposed that the SIP for the SPORT mission be a digital rework of a probe used on the ASSP mission. By using digital processing methods instead of analog methods the new probe can be more accurate in the plasma measurement.

This thesis will describe the theory and design of the SPORT SIP and its advantages over previous analog methods. The design is detailed for both the analog and digital portions of the probe along with a selection of testing data. Potential changes are also discussed.